Abstract: Iran is a key player at the heart of the most pressing questions of today’s Middle East, including Syria, Iraq, and the Kurdish issue. This being said, Iran is not omnipotent, and Iranian decision makers are well aware of this. They are usually able to pragmatically weigh domestic against foreign policy engagements. On the domestic side, the Ruhani government seeks to boost economic development, to strengthen the rule of law in order to sideline domestic extremists, and to avoid red tape in public administration. On the regional level, Tehran will hold on to its current policies, carefully coordinating with Russia but relying on local Shiite groups, some of whom have been Tehran’s partners for decades.