We investigate how informal social networks can assist multinational firms in their internationalization strategy. We propose a refinement of the Uppsala internalization model (Johanson & Vahne, 2009) grounded in network theory, by developing an intermediate position between an ‘insider’ and an ‘outsider’ for conditions when the transformation of an outsider into an insider is limited by institutional constraints. An intermediary position represents one of the sides of ‘patron-client’ informal networks (Denoeux, 1993) whereby the other side is represented by the ‘insider’. We argue that this setup would help mitigate the Liability of Outsidership (Johanson & Vahne, 2009), a replacement of the Liability of Foreignness (Hymer, 1976; Zaheer, 1995), in the modern networked business world. We contextualize our proposition for the case of Iran, a large rising West-Asian economy with known institutional limitations, and suggest that the informal network of local merchants (bazaaries) could play an important intermediary role in Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) internationalization process. We review the history of bazaaries and make a series of propositions exemplifying possible ways informal networks could influence the internationalization process. In addition to re-affirming the importance of the MNE country of origin (emerging markets, and low psychic distance with Iran), we propose that an intermediary of the Iranian bazaaries will have a positive impact on performance and survival of the MNE's subsidiary in Iran, especially in the case of incongruence of MNE's leadership with Shi'a Islam. Additionally, we suggest that employing the Iranian diaspora may also improve subsidiary performance and survival.