Obviously, the religious nature of the Islamic Republic is crippling scientific development there:
Iran put its first communications satellite, Omid (Hope), into a near-Earth orbit on February 2. The research satellite was carried into orbit by a home-made launch vehicle, Safir (Messenger). Iranian Communications Minister Mohammad Soleimani earlier said that the country’s scientists were working on the creation of four new satellites to be placed into near-Earth orbit.
On a tangential note, my favorite thing about the faux concern so often expressed about science education is that the gap between the knowledge of science that science fetishists believe is vital and the actual knowledge of science in any nation on earth is both deep and wide. Of course, if one looks closely enough at the arguments, they boil down to nothing more than a special interest group begging for more government money to pay their salaries.
But scientific development is not synonymous with government spending on scientists. In fact, too much of the latter will tend to inhibit the former. I don’t think there’s too many people who believe that government spending on the arts has improved the quality of art in the USA at all.