To see just how bad the Iranian economy is, one need only look at the country’s growing body parts market, especially among young Iranians who can’t find a job, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
In their new report “Selling Body Parts: A Tragedy in Iran”, the NCRI wrote that organ sellers are often advertising their body parts on social media, walls near hospitals, or, most disturbingly, state-run newspapers, with kidneys going for up to $10,000, corneas up to $20,000, and livers up to $50,000.
The NCRI wrote: “Many beg the pedestrians not to erase their announcements from the wall since they are desperate and need the money urgently. The sellers usually prefer to contact the prospective candidate directly to avoid giving a commission to the middlemen.”
The NCRI said that about 3,800 kidney transplants are performed each year in Iran, 3,000 of them being the result of a vibrant organ market, with kidneys and livers being the most popular organs sold and an increase in social media postings as the economy worsens.
Some of the heart-breaking adverts include “Omid: Selling healthy kidney, resident of Sannandaj [west Iran], blood type: O- Phone: [retracted]” and “Rouzbeh: Male, 26 years old, willing to sell a kidney due to financial problems. Blood type: O+. Price: 600 million rials [$5300]. Phone: [retracted]”.
The NCRI said: “In addition to functioning through the Internet, brokers often wander around major hospitals and approach relatives of patients who need a transplant in order to assess their financial status and make an offer an offer. Brokers often take a 50 percent commission on resulting sales.”
A health commission member quoted in the NCRI report said that organ transplant “not a problem” under Sharia law and that Regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini and the grand clerics are “not opposed to it”. But that’s not really the issue at hand. It’s not about whether organ transplants are legal. It’s about whether someone should be forced to sell their organs due to poverty. That should be a resounding “no”.
The report’s figures come from 2018, three years after the 2015 nuclear deal which removed international sanctions on Iran and released billions of dollars to Iran.
NCRI representative Shahin Gobadi told The Washington Times: “Through embezzlement, theft and astronomical pillaging of these resources, the Iranian regime’s leaders have devoted most of these resources to suppression at home and export of terrorism as well as financing terrorist groups, fomenting proxy wars in the Middle East and working to obtain weapons of mass destruction.”