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Ban on Iranian Pistacio's Helps California Farmers

By OLIVIA MUNOZ, AP - California farmers may be the big beneficiaries of a new U.S. ban on Iranian pistachios.

President Barack Obama signed the ban on July 1 in response to Iran's nuclear policies. It went into effect Wednesday, even as California's farmers are in the midst of their harvest.

The United States and Iran have been vying for the title of No. 1 pistachio producer. Most U.S. pistachios are grown in California.

Two-thirds are sold overseas. But with the ban on Iranian pistachios in place, the $700 million domestic market will go almost exclusively to U.S. growers.

The executive director of the Fresno-based Western Pistachio Association, Richard Matoian, says that's "a big bonus" for the group's members.

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