Has Iran met its Millennium Development Goals?(Read article summary)
The answer to whether Iran has met UN Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty while boosting gender equality and access to education depends on whether you believe Iran's numbers.
Iran may owe its international stardom to the controversy surrounding its nuclear program, but at the United Nations General Assembly this week, the world will focus on a different side of the Islamic Republic: Its domestic accomplishments.
But what has he done for his people? Has he met the UN's Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty and gender inequality while boosting access to education?
Who's crunching the numbers?
Consider education: According to Iran's official math, the nation has boosted primary school enrollment to 94 percent, and turned a girl deficit in its schoolhouses to a girl surplus.
Yet the same UN that is fêting Iran's progress has also ranked Iran's brain drain rate as the world's highest. In Tehran and in the provinces, the dropout rate is increasing, Mr. Javendanfar notes – which is why he says "these numbers are suspect."
"The Iranian government has a tendency to play with the numbers," he says. "These numbers come with a wide margin of error.”