The commander of Tehran's Police for the Sphere of the Production and Exchange of Information, Colonel Davoud Moazami Goudarzi, says the police have dismantled "fifteen websites and accounts" active in buying and selling babies.
A "specific person managed all the dismantled sites and accounts," Goudarzi shared on Tuesday while speaking to the local police website, adding that the website content included "two babies, one several months and the other a few days old."
Goudarzi also claimed that security forces had arrested "a substantial number" of people active in buying and selling children.
"In many of these transactions, not even a single baby is sold, and the criminals' aim is deceiving and milking people who want to buy children on the illegal market," Goudarzi said.
In July 2020, the Tehran police chief announced the arrest of three people involved in selling infants online, offering each baby for 400 million to 500 million rials ($9,500-$12,000).
Comparing these figures with the selling price of infants in 2016, which reached a maximum of 500 million rials, shows an increase.
The Iranian judiciary previously declared the sale and purchase of children, "even for adoption ... a criminal act," though selling and buying infants is a long-standing issue in Iran.
Earlier, in a controversial report in 2015, a member of the Tehran City Council claimed that some homeless women sell their infants almost immediately after delivering them in some hospitals in the "south and center of the city," for the price of "one to two million rials (about $24 to $50).
In 2016, Shahindokht Molaverdi, the then Deputy President for Women and Family Affairs, said that the number of babies sold in their mothers' womb was "high" and that "poverty" was one of the essential factors in the spread of the "social phenomenon" in Iran.
Members of the Majlis Iranian parliament also warned of "the spread of child trafficking" in 2017. In the same year, another parliament member said that selling children in Tehran's suburbs had turned into a "normal procedure" and an "organized crime."