Hand-woven Persian carpets attracted visitors at the third traditional carpet exhibition of Iran in the Geek capital city of Athens. Inaugurating the expo, Mehdi Honardoost, Iranian Ambassador to Greece, hailed Persian carpets as a genuine work of art, and stressed the need for preserving their artistic nature. He sought expansion of Iran\'s carpet market. The art of weaving carpets in Iran dates back to ancient Persia and is considered to be one of the most livid examples of Persian art and culture. 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 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 country earned $750 million from carpet exports in 2007.