The Iranian-American owner of a Georgetown rug store said yesterday that he plans to go out of business following the loss of an estimated $300,000 worth of rugs in two burglaries that he believes were inspired partly by his support of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Bahram Nahidian, who has been prominent in pro-Khomeini activities, said the burglaries and vandalism at his store, the Market Place, at 2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW, on May 6 and 10 were the worst of six such incidents in the last two years.
Police said at least six suspects have been arrested and some of the rugs have been recovered. Names of the suspects were not immediately available.
Nahidian said six windows were broken and an Iranian flag and posters of Khomeini and other Iranian leaders were torn down from his walls. "If it was just a thief, they would have broken one window and they wouldn't have ransacked the place," he said.
Nahidian said the 150 to 200 stolen rugs represent about 90 percent of his inventory, and said he was not insured. He said he held most of the merchandise on consignment from wealthy rug owners and added that he planned to repay as many as he could.
Nahidian, who has been in the rug business 18 years, said he began a going-out-of-business sale over the weekend.