The tanning industry of Eastern Azarbaijan and Iran is centred on the city of Tabriz in the Northwest of the country which is around 45 minutes by plane or 600 km from the Iranian capital, Tehran. “There are nearly 300 businesses connected to the leather industry in the area producing mostly leather from cow, sheep and goat”, Ahad Amin Kazemi, Director, Association of the Leather Producers and Exporters of East Azarbaijan and Iran told ILM.

Most of the production is for the domestic market for footwear, leather goods and accessories. Only around 25-30 companies export outside of Iran with the main export markets in China, Hong Kong, Russia and Turkey. 

The Association of the Leather Producers and Exporters of East Azarbaijan and Iran has around 220 member tanners and is headquartered in Tabriz which lies close to the border with Azarbijan and Armenia.