Iran’s desperate poverty forces citizens into organ sales

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Amidst dire economic conditions, Iranians, including the younger Generation Z, are being driven to extreme measures, such as selling their kidneys, bone marrow, and other organs, as reported by Tehran-based Tejarat News Agency.

The report reveals that not only adults but also teenagers born in the 2000s are now turning to selling their kidneys in exchange for amounts ranging from 300 to 600 million tomans ($5,000 to $10,000).

Hamid, a 16-year-old from Iran, informed the Tejarat News Agency that he is seeking a recipient. He asserts that he possesses a positive A blood type and is willing to sell his kidney at a slightly reduced price due to his age. He underscores his financial need and assures that he has undergone testing and obtained parental consent.

Tejarat News Agency reported that locating a kidney for purchase is not a challenging task. Near hospitals in Iran, one can easily come across advertisements seeking to buy kidneys, some of which emphasize the urgency of the need.

Iranians employ both wall advertisements and online promotions to facilitate connections between sellers and buyers. These advertisements usually feature contact information for both parties. Typically brief, these ads commonly include only a phone number, details of the organ being sold, and the blood type.

According to Iran’s Health Ministry, there were 420 cases of kidney transplants in the country in 2022.

Photo credit: Francesco Alesi/ file 

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