Iran Country profile

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Iran is Australia’s 63st largest trading partner in 2016 with two-way trade totalling A$395m (0.1% of the total). Australia’s total exports were worth A$219m in 2016. Shipments to Iran were predominantly made of meat, wool, coal and vegetables.  Imports were worth US$176m in 2016 and comprised mainly copper ores, fruits and nuts, floor covering, lime, cement and construction materials.

International sanctions on Iran have weighed heavily on Australia’s bilateral trade and investment relationship with Iran. Since 2016 Australia has eased some of the trade and financial sanctions on Iran pursuant to the United Nations security council. But there are still some sanctions in place. 

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Service exports and bilateral investment with Iran remain negligible; but Iran’s vast oil and gas fields could present opportunities for Australian firms, particularly if sanctions are lowered. BHP Billiton considered investing in a pipeline that ran from Iran to Pakistan in 2003; but sanctions derailed that opportunity. Iranian student enrolments in Australia remain modest at around 3,000 (0.5% of total enrolments) in 2016. 

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