Iran is never far from U.S. news headlines. Nuclear threats, unfair elections, captive reporters, a lack of religious freedom, all seem to demand that we do something. But what is to be done? What are the actual conditions in Iran, and what kind of leverage do we in the Western world, and particularly in the U.S. have to effect change? Last summer, Stephanie Zvan was privileged to chat with Dr. William Beeman, professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota and a leading Western scholar of Iran. They discussed the intersection of religion and politics in Iran, U.S.-Iranian relations, and the culture of Iran, including conditions for women. Some of what she learned surprised her. It may surprise you too.