Iranians have been forced to sell their organs for up to $50,000 with the country's economy in freefall, an opposition group has claimed.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is based in Paris, says the organ trade is a 'booming business' as the economy struggles under the weight of U.S .sanctions.
According to their report, one street in Tehran is so covered in scrawled offers of organ sales that the alley has become known as 'Kidney Street'.
Desperate sellers write their phone number and blood type in the hope that nearby patients will be willing to pay, the NCRI claims, blaming the economic turmoil on Iran's government.
One street in Tehran is so full of flyers with people offering to sell their organs (pictured) that the alley has become known as 'Kidney Street', according to an Iranian opposition group
Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani (pictured) and his government have been blamed for the spiralling economic problems
The NCRI cites a number of case studies including a 30-year-old PhD student who apparently put his kidneys up for sale to pay for care for his disabled mother.
Examples they quote from an alleged organ sale website include a 26-year-old man 'willing to sell a kidney due to financial problems' and another who offers both his kidney and bone marrow.
Several of the alleged sellers describe themselves as 'athletes' and physically fit in the advertisements they place on the website.
The market price for a liver is between $15,000 and $50,000, they say, with kidneys going for up to $10,000.
Bone marrow can be exchanged for $10,000, they say.
Variables affecting the price include 'the seller's age, the seriousness of the patient's condition, the severity of the patient's health condition, how urgently the organ is needed and how desperate the seller is,' the NCRI report says.
Some Iranian government officials have even given their blessing to the idea, saying it was justifiable for people living in poverty, the opposition group claims.
'The tragedy of Iranians, especially the youths, selling their body parts to survive or to address their own basic needs or those of their families in a country like Iran is an untold catastrophe,' the opposition movement said.
In addition, a series of middlemen have sprung up to arrange the organ sales and take a cut of the money for themselves, they say.
Desperate sellers write their age and blood type in the hope that nearby patients will be willing to pay, the NCRI claims
One such broker is quoted as saying: 'The area near the hospital is filled with advertisements for selling kidneys. I spent a whole day to find sellers.
'After two years, I hired several people to roam around hospitals and to find clients for me. Then, I hired a few people to somehow get the reports of brain-dead patients from the hospitals for me, and after that, I went on to sell other body organs.
'Now many people know me, even some physicians refer me to their patients. That's why my list of sellers and buyers is increasing every day.'
Describing the alleged 'Kidney Street', the report says: 'Throughout the alley, you can't find a door, a wall, or even a garage without organ sellers’ phone numbers on them.'
In their report they accused Iran's leaders of 'pillaging' the country's natural resources and spending them on wars and financing terror groups.
The NCRI and its affiliate, the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran, are reviled by Iran's government for siding with Iraq during the conflict with Saddam Hussein in the 1980s.
People walk along the alleged 'Kidney Street' where the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is based in Paris, says the organ trade is a 'booming business'
It was once regarded as a terrorist group by the West but the United States removed it from its blacklist in 2012.
The European Union similarly upgraded its status in 2009 after it played a significant role in revealing Iran's nuclear ambitions in the early 2000s.
Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran after pulling out of the controversial nuclear deal that Tehran had agreed with world powers in 2015.
Yesterday he ordered fresh sanctions after Iran was blamed for crippling drone attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure at the weekend.
Sanctions have sent prices of goods and medicines soaring as Iran's rial currency tumbled in value against the US dollar.
Fears of a Middle East conflict have grown amid a series of alarming incidents in the Gulf and exchanges of angry rhetoric between Washington and Tehran.
European powers have been trying to salvage the nuclear deal but Iran has ramped up uranium production in defiance of the pact.
Trump called off air strikes against Iran at the last minute in June after the Islamic republic downed a U.S. drone.