Iran's goal is to sow discord and inflict pain on energy markets, while avoiding crossing a threshold that prompts retaliation from the US. This is a fine line to walk at the best of times.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani staked his political fortunes on bringing Iran out of isolation. Now, it appears he's losing control to hard-liners in Iran.
Donald Trump stepped back from launching US airstrikes inside Iran, but the conflict is unabated and there appears to be no way out of confrontation for now.
Reformers have tried to modernise Iran for decades but have failed mainly due to the country's powerful theocracy. And then there are those who want to overthrow the regime altogether.
As Iran struggles under another round of international sanctions, a widening social gap is putting President Hassan Rouhani's government under pressure.
The US was once the dominant force in the Middle East. That old order has disappeared. Now the new powers are Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia – and the US needs a new policy for the region.
Recent protests in Tehran's Grand Bazaar are part of a long reform movement, not a new revolution.
Just as Iran's centre ground was collapsing under political pressure, Donald Trump offered the hardliners a gift.
Protests against mandatory hijabs have a clear goal, and if successful, would be a victory for Iranian civil society.
Although the unrest that shocked Iran's ruling elite appears to be over, there are several reasons to think this won't be the last time disaffected citizens take to the streets.
With a hollowed-out agenda and a cynical attitude to corruption, Iran's reformist forces have squandered their people's trust.
Surveys of Iranian public opinion from the University of Maryland suggests that Trump's strategy on the nuclear deal – no matter how you interpret it – is based on wishful thinking.
Tehran is fostering a start-up industry as a possible motor to solve Iran's unemployment crisis.
Between an electorate hungry for change and a powerful hardline elite, Hassan Rouhani has his work cut out for him.
Iran's economic recovery and reintegration into the global economy have become key electoral topics.
President is not the most important leadership role in Iran. The election is not completely democratic. That said, there's a pretty competitive contest happening.
The election TV debates have shown the candidates to be out of touch.
Trump's tough rhetoric is bad news for Iran's moderates.
Rouhani's conservative rivals are exploiting growing pessimism about the economy, increasing the odds that someone more hostile to the West might become Iran's next president.
The latest in a series of meetings will see the two countries sign a number of agreements on political and economic matters.