Tehran, Iran (AP) - After three years of work by 500 weavers, Iran has shipped a hand-woven carpet the size of a football field to a mosque in Oman. The carpet, with a surface area of 6,000 square yards and weighing 24.2 tons, was shipped to the Omani capital of Muscat on Saturday, said Mostafa Qannadha, director of the government-owned Iran Carpet Company. Qannadha said the carpet, worth $5.2 million, has 1.7 billion knots and is the largest of its kind. It was commissioned for the Sultan Qabus Azam Mosque in Muscat and is decorated with traditional Persian designs in blue, yellow, white and khaki, he said. The carpet was shipped in 42 pieces. Iranian artists have been dispatched to Oman to connect the pieces before the official inauguration of the mosque in March.
Carpets are Iran's biggest export item after oil, bringing the country over $600 million annually. In March, the United States lifted sanctions on Iranian carpets, caviar and pistachios as a sign of improved relations between the countries.