|American producers struggle to back to Iranian marketplace||
TEHRAN (AP) — American producers still sell goods to Iran, despite the U.S. government sanctions.
Even after decades of diplomatic estrangement and tightening economic sanctions, American products manage to find their way into the Iranian marketplace. The routes are varied: back channel exporters, licensing workarounds and straightforward trade for goods not covered by the U.S. embargoes over Iran.
It offers lessons in the immense difficulties facing Western attempts to isolate Iran's economy, which has deepening trade links with Asia where distributors serve as middlemen to funnel U.S. and other goods to Iranian merchants
Although the number of Made-in-America items in Iran is dwarfed by the exports from Europe, China and neighboring Turkey, some of the best-known U.S. brands can be tracked down in Tehran and other large cities. It's possible to check your email on an iPhone, sip a Coke and hit the gym in a pair of Nikes.
The iPhones and other Apple products typically enter Iran through networks in Dubai or from Asian distributors, which also ship everything from lower-cost MacBook fakes to bogus Levi's and Tommy Hilfiger.
Similar trade routes from the Far East or nearby Dubai also bring in Westinghouse appliances, Microsoft programs.
Both iconic American drinks have been mainstays for years in one of the Middle East's largest consumer markets with 75 million people. The U.S. Treasury sanctions on Iran give some leeway for food and beverages, allowing The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo to work through non-U.S. subsidiaries to ship their syrup to Iranian bottlers and distributors.
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