0722 GMT February 17, 2018
He made the remarks at the 4th Iran's National Pistachio Festival in Damghan, IRNA reported.
Ahmad Nour said that in the preceding years, Pakistan had the first rank in exporting goods to Afghanistan, but this year Iran allocated the position to itself.
He said the two countries are two friendly and neighboring states with longstanding good relations and added that many of Afghan cabinet ministers have visited Iran and are familiar with Iranian goods.
The 4th National Pistachio Festival began its 2-day work on Wednesday.
Ambassadors of Afghanistan and Bangladesh as well as governor-general of Semnan province as well as other officials and a parliament vice-speaker attended the inaugural inauguration ceremony of the festival.
It is predicted that this year 40,000 tons of pistachio will be collected from Damghan gardens.
The head of Iran Pistachio Association said in August that about 150,000 tons of pistachio worth $1.5 billion are estimated to be exported from Iran during the current Iranian year (started March 21), to register an 11 percent and 25 percent growth in weight and value respectively compared to the previous year.
Mohsen Jalalpour, who is former president of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, said last year, 135,000 tons of the product worth around $1.2 billion were exported from the country.
According to Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mojtaba Khosrotaj, Iran supplies more than 50 percent of the world pistachio market.
Close to 16,660 tons of pistachio worth $173.66 million were exported from Iran to 56 countries, including the US, Ukraine, the UAE, Italy, Bahrain, Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey, Canada, Qatar, Switzerland, France, Poland, Sweden, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Thailand, Japan, Romania and Hong Kong in the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 21-July 22).
Pistachio is cultivated in 19 Iranian provinces.