Iran exported $182mln worth of hand-woven carpets in the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21 to Aug. 22, 2011), an Iranian official announced on Monday.Speaking to FNA, Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran's National Carpet Center Feysal Merdasi said the country's hand-woven carpet exports amounted to $182mln during the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year. Merdasi, who is also a Deputy Industry, Mine and Trade Minister, further noted the country's plans for boosting exports of Persian rugs and carpets to foreign markets, and said his center has envisaged $600mln of exports for the current Iranian year. "Given our success in the 20th International Iran Hand-Woven Carpet Exhibition in Tehran, it is expected that our envisioned goal be achieved," he stressed. Merdasi's Deputy for Commerce Ali Malekjou had also earlier told FNA that the center has devised plans to boost export of Persian carpets to the regional nations. "Programs such as sending trade and economic delegations to China and other regional countries such as India, Pakistan and Afghanistan are among the future programs to support the export of Persian Carpets," Malekjou had said. Iran is the leading exporter of hand-woven carpets. Persian rugs are highly sought out for their intricate design and skilled craftsmanship, and that's why Iran exports carpets to more than 100 countries in the world. Carpet-weaving is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished manifestations of the Persian culture and art, and dates back to ancient Persia. There is an estimated population of 1.2 million weavers in Iran producing carpets for domestic markets and international export. The country produces about five million square meters of carpets annually of which 80 percent are sold in international markets. The United States, Europe (specially Germany and Italy), China, Brazil, South and Central Africa, along with neighboring countries are the most important markets for Iranian made Persian Carpets.