Iranian government has been fully aware of the need to address rural areas and their development since the last few decades. The twentieth century finished and still rural development is facing several problems and challenges. This issue in association with environmental problems directs the attention to a type of development called sustainable rural development. This study used meta analysis to examine the challenges and problems of rural communities in Iran to achieve sustainable development. The results indicated that problems such as weak government management and planning, the lack of appropriate structure for rural development management, inadequate acknowledgment of indigenous knowledge, insufficient attention to people participation and social capital, absence of agricultural mechanization, lack of improved productivity of basic production resources, shortage of agricultural extension services, poor quality of rural tourism, and unexpanded modern economic sectors are the main barriers to institutionalize sustainable rural development.