A state-run news outlet has shown a leaflet that was advertising a couple wanting to sell their kidneys and bone marrow in order to help resolve their severe financial issues. On the poster, they even indicated their blood type.

Furthermore, in the south-east part of the country’s capital, copper factory workers have decided to sell their kidneys to help remedy their financial problems too.

The workers placed a banner outside their workplace to draw the public’s attention to their absolutely dire situation.

In Iran, unlike any other country in the world, it is legal to sell organs and there are even dozens of organ supply units spread across the country.

According to official figures, the number of people on dialysis is increasing every year. The Minister of Cooperation, Labor and Social Welfare said that there are an additional 5,000 new people per year needing dialysis.

Horrifyingly, there are now mafia gangs trying to profit from the poverty in the country. They are apparently buying and selling children, and in most cases, the children’s organs are taken. A Tehran City Council worker said that the bodies of children are often abandoned in the desert where they are later found with no kidneys or eyes.

Although Iran’s Minister of Health admitted that selling a kidney is inappropriate, a member of the Iranian parliament’s healthcare department said earlier this year that it is not an issue. He said: “There are a lot of people who live with only one kidney. (…) What is wrong with selling kidney when a person is poor and wants to get 20 to 30 million Tomans ($6000-$9000)?”

These comments are misplaced and inappropriate, especially because the Iranian regime is using the wealth of the country to fund terrorism and fundamentalism abroad. So much money is sent to Syria where the people there are mistreated and greatly touched by the war around them. It is the regime’s choice to neglect its own people in favour of war.

Over 10 million people in Iran are living in extreme cases of poverty, and almost two-thirds are earning below the minimum living wage standards.

How can the international community not react when faced with the coldness of the country’s leaders regarding such drastic actions?