HRD will start training certified diamond graders in a debut course in Tehran at the end of April in collaboration with a local consultant.
The move is part of a wider attempt to expand HRD’s operations in the region, according to Katrien De Corte, its chief officer for education and industry. HRD will open an office in Dubai at the end of February, featuring a drop-off point for diamonds and jewelry for sending on to its laboratories. It also offers vocational courses in Bahrain, Qatar and Lebanon, and has operated a laboratory in Istanbul, Turkey, since 2010.
The organization plans to open a second drop-off point in the region, likely in Lebanon, De Corte added.
As for Iran, the potential exists for further business opportunities, De Corte pointed out. “We’ll start with an educational center and evaluate” what customers want, she said.
Offering HRD’s services in Iran has only been possible since the European Union lifted nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against the country in January 2016. This followed an agreement between Iran and six superpowers in July 2015.