exactly because it didn't follow china model.
under the shah, it's dictatorship, but also "enlightened' one, radical religious group were suppressed, economy was not bad, especially women 's rights were quite promoted, they could wear bikinis! and iran was close to america. read the novel "taipan" about iranian women then, and compared to now, only after fan suicide and fifa's threat, female s are now allowed to watch football in stadium. just imagine, what if the shah dynasty survived, it might quite be like saudi or qatar now.
instead, what happened next: first occupying foreign embassy and kidnapping (any other example than cixi's china?, and 40 yrs later most iranians still celebrate that!), long brutal and achieving nothing war with iraq, religion's heavy hands on every1 esp women (and of course salma rushdie). the democratic election under such system is only a joke.
no, iran has nothing worth china to learn, it's the other way around. the only good thing i can find about iran is it's serious on pop control, very rare for a islamic nation.
for all developing nations, political cxhange must lag behind economy, be patient, as jian core said, better busy making money silently. the same thing can be said about :libya, yemen, egypt, iraq, syria, ukraine, what if thye had learned a few from china?