In Impoverished Iran, Desperate Iranians Sell Their Organs

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s corruption-plagued economy coupled with political mismanagement is compelling Iranians to sell their vital organs, according to media reports.

The Washington-based Iran International news outlet reported Thursday “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.”

The Iranian daily paper Jahan-e-Sanat said on Thursday some middlemen send 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.

The Iranians who want to sell their organs travel to meet potential buyers for two reasons. The first is so that they may bargain over the price, and the second is so that the buyer can reassure him or herself that the seller is indeed a healthy individual.


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Beni Sabti, an expert on Iran’s clerical regime from the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that “Because of the corruption of members of the regime,” Iranians are selling their vital organs.

It is not only the “corruption” of regime members, that is, their actual theft of government money, that has caused such extreme poverty, though that is a major part of it. So has the mismanagement of the economy by those who were appointed to their government jobs only because they were well-connected.

And the third, and most important reason why 80% of the Iranian population now live below the poverty level, are the choices made by the Islamic Republic since its inception in 1979, on what to spend government money, choices that have brought no economic benefits to the Iranian people. The regime has spent billions of dollars over more than a decade on its nuclear program, including such fantastically expensive undertakings as building a nuclear facility 250 feet underground at Natanz, and another inside a mountain at Fordow. Then there are the sums spent to help Assad win his civil war. A leading Iranian lawmaker estimated in 2021 that Iran had spent at least $30 billion USD, and possibly as much as $100 billion USD, to prop up Assad during the first decade of the Syrian civil war.

In addition, Iran has been giving Hezbollah $800 million USD a year, $150 million a year to the Houthis in Yemen, almost $200 million to Hamas, and $150 million to the pro-Iranian militias in Iran. In other words, $1.3 billion a year, money which Iran can ill afford to part with.

This is something [the selling of organs] that has been happening for many years. But in recent years it is growing because the prices of everything are very high and [so is] inflation ,” said Sabti.

The regime said inflation is 44% but the real number is 80% to 100%, said Sabti.

Given the precipitous slide in the currency, and how much Iran imports, surely the real inflation number is at least 100%.

Sabti, who was born in Tehran and speaks fluent Persian, said under the theocratic state, “They don’t respect lives.” He added that “People sometimes sell their children to other countries.”

Sabti said Iranian girls are sexually exploited and sent to Gulf countries.

Why should the Iranian regime care If the Iranian poor sell their children to people in rich countries? And what does it matter to them if other people’s girls and women – never their own – are sent to the Gulf to be turned into sex slaves of Arab men? If that’s how some men want to make money, by pimping their own womenfolk, so be it. You can be sure that neither Khamenei, nor President Raisi, nor IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami, care what Iran’s poor must do to survive.

A young Iranian man told Jahan-e-Sanat “My blood type is O negative, and I am 22 years old. I will sell my kidney for 5 billion rials ($10,000). 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).”

At 22, this Iranian has already lost all hope. He’s ready to sell a kidney. And once that kidney is sold, and part of his liver, what happens when that money – the modest sum of $14,000 — runs out in a year or two? He will have nothng else to sell, unless he is now willing to sell a cornea that will leave him half blind. The only thing that could improve his state would be if the Iranian regime chooses to spend its money at home, instead of on foreign adventures abroad, in Yemen, Iraq, Gaza, and Lebanon. Given the fanatical faith of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, of President Ebrahim Raisi, and of the IRGC commander, Hossein Salami, and their dreams of both creating a “Shi’a crescent” and of destroying the Jewish state, no one should expect them to deviate in the slightest from the path of aggression that has been the regime’s hallmark since 1979.

Iran’s regime is contaminated with widespread economic and political corruption, say veteran observers of the mullah regime.

The Iran expert Sabti said it was reported on Sunday [May 7] that a member of the parliament, Shahbaz Hasanpour, from Sirjan, secured $1 billion dollars to buy machines for mining work in south Iran. Hasanpour’s son embezzled the money and went abroad and there has been no judicial action against his father or the son, said Sabti….

One billion dollars, just like that, not used to buy mining machines as was supposed to happen, but instead has gone abroad – disappeared — with the son of a prominent member of Iran’s Parliament, Shahbaz Hasanpour. It was the father who had pushed for the $1 billion USD to be spent on mining machines, no doubt aware that his son would abscond with the money, never to be seen again. And the father, despite this, has not been arrested but continues to serve as an MP. Perhaps he has many stories that he could tell about other high-placed and corrupt Iranians, which is why he is being treated with kid gloves.

In 2017, the Los Angeles Times reported: “Kidney for sale,” read dozens of messages, accompanied by phone numbers and blood types, splashed along a tree-lined street opposite the Hasheminejad Kidney Center in Tehran.

Even six years ago, when Iran’s economy was not in nearly as parlous a state as it is now, Iranians were offering their kidneys for sale. Now the business has taken off, and not only with rich Iranians, but with an even more important source of buyers – the deep-pocketed Arabs in the states of the Gulf who been buying organs from desperate Iranians. And when those Arabs have recovered from the operation, they can always enjoy themselves with the Iranian girls sold to them for their pleasure.

In Iran, what more telling signs of economic hopelessness can there possibly be than these horrific sales of kidneys and concubines?
A Opinion
Iran’s economy has fallen into an abyss. Its currency, the riyal, has lost 95% of its value in the last six years. Sixty percent of Iranians now live below the poverty level, and another 20% live in extreme poverty. The country is ruled by a corrupt elite, consisting of both theocrats and military men, who have helped themselves to billions of dollars that rightly belong to the state. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, controls a business empire of $95 billion; it’s anyone’s guess as to how much of that $95 billion he owns outright. Lesser ayatollahs and high-ranked mullahs, President Raisi and his loyalists, the IRGC high command, have all been feeding at the same government trough. The corruption is colossal. Well-paid government jobs are distributed by members of this greedy elite as sinecures to their relatives and friends.. When such jobs, especially those having to do with economic matters, are filled not on merit, by technocrats, but by those with family or political connections, the economy will naturally suffer. And so, of course, will the Iranian masses, who have no possibility of themselves being awarded such sinecures. And it is among these, the 60% of the population that lives in poverty, and the 20% who live in extreme poverty, that we find Iranians willing, out of desperation, to sell their organs, especially a kidney or part of a liver, but also corneas, bone marrow, sperm, and ova.

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