Interest in arid ecosystems as a source of food supply for rapidly increasing population of the world, on the one hand, and the problems pertaining to the climatic characteristics, water shortages and soil sensitivity for the inhabitants in such areas, on the other have prompted efforts at both national and international levels to develop a better understanding of these problems as well as to find proper ways for the optimized utilization of the available natural resources. Iran is characterized by arid and semi–arid ecosystems for most parts (around 90%). Despite climatic problems in arid areas; there is also a great potential whose optimal management could decrease the problems. This article is an attempt to provide a model for sustainable development in arid areas and ecosystems of Iran. The focus of research and analysis has been as follows: The factors affecting dry weather in arid ecosystems, The problems and limitations in arid ecosystems, The potentials in arid ecosystems, Approaches to the environmental management and sustainable development in arid ecosystems.