A measure of Iran's shadow economy is found in the body parts market.
Iran's National Resistance Council, the leading anti-Tehran dissident group, has issued a new report saying organ sales are on the rise as younger Iranians are in a desperate search for money in a job-scarce economy.
The board's report said organ sellers are writing offers on walls near hospitals or on social networks to attract bidders. Some are cited in state newspapers.
“Many ask pedestrians not to erase their advertisements from the wall because they are desperate and urgently need the money,” says the council report, titled “Selling Body Parts: A Tragedy in Iran.” “Vendors generally prefer to go into contact with potential candidates. candidate directly to avoid giving a commission to intermediaries. "
The price list: kidney, up to $ 10,000; liver, up to $ 50,000; and a $ 20,000 cornea.
Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the national council, provided the Times with state reports from the Iranian news agency willing to give up a cornea to survive financially.
Albania's council, which has a spy network and Internet searches, says about 3,800 kidney transplants are performed every year in Iran. Of these, some 3,000 are products of a vibrant organ market.
“The kidney and liver markets are hot for brokers. The Instagram and Telegram apps are among their favorite platforms, ”says the board report. “Middlemen have also created websites where they ask sellers to sign up and leave their details for buyers to find. Both sides pay the broker's commission. "
The board did not provide comparative organ sales figures from previous years, but said its research shows an increase in social media publications as the economy worsens.
The board report provided recent warnings on a kidney sales website:
“Omid: Sale of Healthy Kidney, Resident in Sannandaj [Western Iran], Blood Type: O- Phone:”
Steal: Male, 26, willing to sell a kidney due to financial problems. Blood type: O +. Price: 600 million rials [$ 5,300]. Telephone:"
"In addition to working over the Internet, brokers often walk around major hospitals and approach relatives of patients who need a transplant to assess their financial situation and make an offer," the national council said. "Brokers usually have a 50% commission on the resulting sales."
The council quoted one member of the health commission: “Sharia-based organ transplantation is not a problem and is allowed, and its holiness, the Imam [Khomeini], has given the consent and the grand clerics are not opposed to that".
The report's figures are 2018, three years after the 2015 nuclear agreement between the US, Europe and Iran, which released billions of dollars in trapped Iranian funds.
The infusion should provide capital to expand a state-dominated economy. But in 2018, protests erupted across the country against what citizens said were a corrupt Islamic regime accumulating huge amounts of money and wasting resources in wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Gobadi told the Washington Times: “The point is that through embezzlement, theft and astronomical plunder of these resources, Iranian regime leaders devoted most of these resources to suppressing at home and exporting terrorism, as well as financing terrorist groups, fomenting proxy wars in the Middle East and working to obtain weapons of mass destruction. "
Trump broke the Barack Obama administration's nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions in August 2018. The president imposed more sanctions this week as punishment for the missile attack on Saudi Arabia's oil complexes.
A World Bank report in April said it expects Iran's economy to contract this year and next, while suffering "stagflation" – without growth and high inflation – with the government posting record deficits.
Ayatollah Khomeini founded the Islamic Republican of Iran in 1979.
The report also cited local news:
“Amir, who is about 18 years old, has auctioned off his kidneys due to poverty. He doesn't want more than 500 million rials. [$ 5,000]. He says he can no longer handle the owner's complaints. He and his brother decided to sell one of their kidneys and buy a small house with the help of a loan to relieve their mother of the suffering of not having a home. "
Subscribe to daily newsletters
Washington Times Comment Policy
The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third party vendor. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.