In Iraq, Iran is presented with a conundrum. Having seen the country morph from dreaded rival to ally, Tehran is no doubt hesitant to watch its gains rolled back. Moreover, as home to a large Shiite population and various shrine sites, the responsibility falls to Iran to serve as protector of Shiite interests. But even here, Iran's actions are determined by pragmatism and deliberation. Much like the United States, Iran is monitoring the situation in Iraq closely and treading carefully while leaving its options open. Even as the country's leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, noted that neither Iran nor other outside parties should intervene, leaving events instead to be determined by Iraqis themselves, there are reports of Iran sending fighter jets, drones and advisers to Iraq. Not beholden to some unbending Shiite-Sunni rivalry — the framework du jour for assessing all events in the Middle East — Iran is making a calculated assessment according to political realities.