We are in March, the Women’s History Month. More dreadful stories are heard of poverty and social pressure endured especially by irans women and children. Such conditions are the result of 38 years of the mullahs’ rule in Iran, plundering the country’s vast natural resources and other riches for wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and beyond, while Iran’s own population is suffering horrific poverty and social atrocities, such as drug addiction.

Iran’s official ISNA news agency

Our destination is a house in the tight alleyways of southern Tehran. A home in which hundreds of newborn babies have been purchased and sold.

Addicted mothers are seen here selling their children at low prices to provide for their drug money. Mothers, who unwantedly, have fallen into the grip of a mafia, and members have thought of all the precautions to keep their house a secret.

The House in Iran

We are finally able to enter the house along with a pregnant drug addict. From the outside it looks no different from an ordinary old house. However, when you enter it is as if you have entered a crowded motel. One can smell the drugs the moment the door opens. The entire building has been turned into a large number of small rooms, each belonging to an addicted mother. Pregnant women are forced to remain in these small rooms until their delivery.

Mothers are provided with free food and drugs until their babies are born. On that day the mother is taken to a hospital in southern Tehran to give birth. After being released she receives a small amount of money, much less than initially promised.

An addicted mother gave us the address of this secret home. “Soraya”, 35, had four children and sold the last one, with no news from two of them.

She regrets her actions and is terrified of being arrested.

“When a woman becomes addicted her entire life is ruined. An addicted person does anything for even $25,” she says. “A [homeless] woman told me there is a person who buys newborn babies. Through her I met a woman who offered to purchase my child,” Soraya adds.

“I was told the price will be determined after the ultrasound tests.

A newborn boy is priced at $1,850 and a newborn girl is $2,100. However, when the baby was born they gave me only $550,” she continued. “I was surprised the first day I entered the home. There were a number of women there in conditions similar to mine. They were all pregnant and drug addicts. After some time I was able to start interacting with them and I learned many women had come and gone.”

Iran, the land of drugs

“At times we were told to make packages of drugs, but most of the time we had nothing to do. We could not leave the house and whenever someone had to go for an ultrasound test, a woman with very nice clothing with a high-chassis vehicle would come and take her. One day I sat in the back alongside another woman who appeared to be an employee.

She was constantly on the phone. We went to a location for the ultrasound test. I still remember her fragrance, with those polished nails, and how she would place her hands on the steering wheel. The place we went to was not a hospital or even a doctor’s office,” she added.

“I used to run away from home from the age of 13. The first time I ran away my parents forced me to marry a man … All my dreams were destroyed. After that I constantly fled from home. I fled from Abadan (southwest Iran) to Isfahan (central Iran and more than 600 kilometers away). After that I constantly changed cities and finally ended up in Tehran… I got acquainted with drugs during the first days I ran from home. In Tehran I married again and right now I use both Methamphetamine (known as ‘glass’ in Iran) and heroine,” Soraya continued.

“I was forced to sell my newborn and right now I regret it. But its’ no use. I know I have committed a crime...,” she said in sorrow. This is the result of 38 years of the mullahs’ horrific rule in Iran. All the more why serious action is needed.