Regionalization of Development Plans in Iran: A Review of Status and Challenges


Associate Professor, Department of Social Planning, University of Tehran, Iran


The objective of this paper is to examine the standing and thinking of regional planning in the country’s planning system with an emphasis on national development plans. It intends to see to what extent and how this objective has been achieved or this type of thinking has been incorporated into development plans. By scrutinizing these plans both in pre-and post-revolutionary periods, the paper concludes that despite occasionally emphasis on regional planning, it has become a slogan not an essential and actual part of the country's planning system. The paper argues that this is due mainly to the country’s centralized administrative structure, the integral opposition of the bureaucracy to changes implied in the regionalization policies; the sectorial structure of the country’s planning system, and extreme deprivation of some regions and their consequent powerlessness to rally local potentials for development.