‘Eye and kidney for sale’: poor Iranians sell their organs

Two men, aged 20 and 23, and two of their friends have recently put up ads on city walls to sell some of their body parts, the state-run ISNA news agency reported on April 19.

Mohammad-Reza, Javad, Mohammad and Ali have put up ads to sell their kidneys and eyes. According to reports, Mohammad-Reza is one of four friends who came to Tehran a few years ago from the town of Dehdasht in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad Province to find work in Tehran. The mother of one of these young men has to undergo an open heart surgery. Mohammad-Reza said that he went along with the ads because of his friend’s mother and also to send money back to his family. He was a street peddler before this and is now unemployed. He said that after putting up the ad, people call him and sympathize with him. “This empathy is worth the world to me,” Mohammad-Reza said. Javad is Mohammad-Reza’s friend and one of the four who wants to sell one of his eyes. He said that his brother is an addict and that his family had financial problems. Javad said that losing one of his eyes was not that difficult for him.

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.

Selling one’s own body organs or blood “on the black market” is a common practice and has actually turned into a business for some.

In recent years, many people who do not have any source of income to be able to provide for their children have turned to sell their body organs as a method of temporary relief. People openly post ads on the walls in streets adjacent to hospitals to offer their kidneys, liver, blood, cornea, bone marrow, etc. for sale.

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