With the deepening economic crisis and skyrocketing inflation, the sale of body organs abroad is reaching alarming levels in Iran, local media warns.
Organ trafficking has become a major problem with people selling kidneys, liver, cornea, bone marrow, sperm, and ovum out of poverty.
Jahan-e-Sanat daily wrote Thursday that some middlemen send the prospective donors to neighboring countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Iraq to sell their body parts for $7,000 to $15,000.
This is the result of the country’s economic crisis, which has left many people struggling to survive. In some cases, people have even been forced to sell their organs to pay for medical bills or to support their families.
The organ trafficking industry has been estimated to be worth millions of dollars, with organs being sold to wealthy individuals. The organs are usually obtained through coercion or deception, with some being promised money and then never receiving it once the organ has been taken out.
Although Iranian law prohibits the sale or purchase of body organs, the online market is booming, and no one is taking action.
“My blood type is O negative, and I am 22 years old. I will sell my kidney for 5 billion rials (10,000 USD). Due to my financial issues, I have no choice but to sell my kidney. If you want my liver, I will sell a part of it for 2 billion rials (4,000 USD),” a young man told Jahan-e-Sanat.
According to government figures, more than 1,480 people receive a kidney transplant from a living donor in Iran annually, which is about 55 percent of the total of 2,700 transplants each year.