A state-owned media revealed that Kermanshah province (western Iran) has the highest rate of kidney sales due to poverty and unemployment in this region. The Jamaran government website under the title of “Kermanshah has the highest rate of kidney sales!” wrote:
“In the past days, the name of Kermanshah was tied up in the news with the earthquake, but it seems that the cities of this province suffer from many other problems, which is not related to sudden incidents. Last year Kermanshah had the first unemployment rate in the country.”
Referring to other social damages in Kermanshah province, which rank higher than other provinces in Iran, the media writes that the head of the Kermanshah Kidney Care Support Association said the province is ranked first for the sale of kidneys.
“Our cities still have a state of warfare. There is no big factory here and no business has a particular boom. All of this causes unemployment and poverty to be high, so some people in Kermanshah are willing to sell a piece of their body to get some money and get things done or to solve some problems in their lives,” he said.
Sale of kidneys is considered a social harm. The state-run Jamaran website quoting the head of the Kermanshah Kidney Care Support Association wrote that a kidney is sold at 18 million Toman and added:
“The people who need the kidneys are often poor and cannot afford to buy. For this reason, there is a long line to receive all donations in the dialysis halls of the province, both those who want to sell their kidney and the recipients. For this reason, many donors go to other cities and Kermanshah can be considered as the kidney exporter to other cities.”
Hossein Biglari reported that women are entering the kidney market, saying that in the past, there were only men who were ready to sell their kidneys, but now the situation is such that young women aged 20 to 35 come to the community to give up their kidney.
“We face cases of women who desperately need 5 million Toman and their hands are short on everywhere and they want to sell their kidneys.”
This is the disastrous situation among the deprived people of Kermanshah province, while the Iranian regime has contributed annually between $15 billion and $ 20 billion to Assad’s government. And over the past thirty years, the regime has contributed $1 billion annually to Lebanese Hezbollah mercenaries.
As a result, while the poor people of Iran sell their organs to live, the ruling regime has spent the equivalent of a 150 years budget of an Iranian province like Kermanshah to preserve and prop up the Syrian dictator and killing people in that country.
The advertisements are scrawled in marker on brick walls and tree trunks, and affixed to telephone utility boxes, sidewalks and a road sign pointing the way to one of Iran’s leading hospitals. “Kidney for sale,” read the dozens of messages, accompanied by phone numbers and blood types, splashed along a tree-lined street opposite the Hasheminejad Kidney Center in Tehran. New ads appear almost daily. Behind each is a tale of individual woe — joblessness, debt, a family emergency — in a country beset by economic despair.
“If I could sell my kidney, I could get out of debt. I would sell my liver too,” Ali Rezaei, a bankrupt 42-year-old air-conditioning installer, said in the shade of a tree across from the kidney hospital.
In fact, Iran offers people a legal way to sell their kidneys – and is the only country in the world to do so. A government foundation registers buyers and sellers, matches them up and sets a fixed price of $4,600 per organ. Since 1993, doctors in Iran have performed more than 30,000 kidney transplants this way.
But the system hasn’t always worked as it’s been billed. Sellers have learned that they can cut side deals to earn up to thousands more from well-off Iranians eager to bypass the roughly yearlong wait for a transplant under the government system, or foreigners barred from the national program. In recent years, doctors have been caught attempting to perform transplants for Saudis who obtained forged Iranian IDs.
Some international transplant leaders point to the advertisements as evidence that commercializing organ donations preys on the neediest people – the very thing that laws in the U.S. and elsewhere banning organ sales aim to prevent.
No one can say how many of the street ads are answered. But they serve as a marker of Iran’s social and economic dysfunction after years of endemic corruption, mismanagement and stifling international sanctions.