Iran has banned the import of 20 food items, including rice and wheat as the government tries to boost domestic productivity.
“Imports of [beef], rice, wheat and a couple of fruits such as apples, peaches, apricots and cherries have been banned,” says deputy trade minister Babak Afghahi. “The ban on food item imports will stay in effect until further notice and in the mine and industry sector, 1,300 non-essential industrial goods are being considered by the relevant agencies.”
Iran is also considering restricting hundreds more imports, Afghahi says.
The ban appears to be in response to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei asking for more care to be taken in imports to prevent damaging the economy and increasing the productivity of Iran’s producers.
Iran is already self-sufficient in wheat and rice production and is one of the world’s largest producers of pistachios and saffron.