Peter Kenyon

Peter Kenyon is NPR's international correspondent based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Prior to taking this assignment in 2010, Kenyon spent five years in Cairo covering Middle Eastern and North African countries from Syria to Morocco. He was part of NPR's team recognized with two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University awards for outstanding coverage of post-war Iraq.

In addition to regular stints in Iraq, he has followed stories to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria, Morocco and other countries in the region.

Arriving at NPR in 1995, Kenyon spent six years in Washington, D.C., working in a variety of positions including as a correspondent covering the US Senate during President Bill Clinton's second term and the beginning of the President George W. Bush's administration.

Kenyon came to NPR from the Alaska Public Radio Network. He began his public radio career in the small fishing community of Petersburg, where he met his wife Nevette, a commercial fisherwoman.

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And I'm Robert Siegel. Iranian and American diplomats are facing a July 20th deadline to come up with a nuclear agreement. A deal could prevent any Iranian attempt to build a bomb. Failure could bring back the mutual hostility of the past. As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Vienna, nuclear fuel, uranium, is the crucial issue.

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And I'm Renee Montagne. It's being billed as the final push. After a decade of on-again, off-again talks with Iran over its nuclear program, a last round of talks begins today in Vienna. Negotiators from Iran, the U.S. and five major powers have set July 20 - just weeks from now - as the deadline to reach an agreement. NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Vienna. Good morning.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Alarm bells are ringing in Iran now that Sunni militants are making such a huge claim in neighboring Iraq. Iran is the center of Shiite power in the region. It supports Iraq's Shiite-led government and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports that Tehran is pursuing even more military support for its allies. But it also might be looking for a viable political solution in Iraq.

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The fighting is so bad in Iraq that yesterday NATO promised to defend member country Turkey from any spillover violence. Turkey borders two countries that some analysts now call failed states, Iraq and Syria. That's forcing Turkey to consider policies that could change the map of the region, even the possibility of more independence for Iraqi Kurds. That's something Turkey has vehemently opposed for decades. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Negotiators trying to ensure that Iran has only a peaceful nuclear program have less than a month to reach an agreement. A week of talks in Vienna yielded the potential beginnings of a deal. But thorny problems remain unresolved.

As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, U.S. and Iranian negotiators also spent time fending off questions about the crisis in Iraq.

Iran and six world powers are meeting in Vienna this week in their latest attempt to hammer out a comprehensive nuclear agreement by July 20.

That's when a six-month interim agreement expires. It can be extended for up to another six months, though all sides say they're aiming for an agreement this summer.

Iran is negotiating with the so-called P5 plus one, which consists of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany.

Former world heavyweight boxing champ Vitaly Klitchko is now set to become mayor of Kiev. In his first major move, Klitchko is asking activists in Independence Square to pack up their tents and allow the square to return to normal. Some activists are resisting, warning that one presidential election doesn't guarantee the success of their revolution — or do justice to the martyrs who were killed there.

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The new president of Ukraine also faces the problem keeping order. Petro Poroshenko has won praise for his tough stance on the pro-Russian insurgency in the east of the country. But it can take force to back up words. And the Ukrainian military is considered relatively weak. NPR's Peter Kenyon just returned from Ukraine and has this report.

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Europe's far-right parties did well, really well in last week's elections to the European Parliament. But their embrace of Russia and its annexation of Crimea is not exactly what the far-right counterparts in Ukraine were expecting. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports on a rare right-wing party that favors EU integration and joining NATO.

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And I'm Melissa Block. The battle for control of eastern Ukraine heated up again today. Pro-Russian insurgents shot down a military helicopter - killing at least a dozen soldiers, including an Army general. The deaths came days after the Ukrainian military inflicted heavy losses on rebels, who had seized the Donetsk airport.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. We begin this hour with the latest from Ukraine, where votes from yesterday's presidential election continue to be tallied. Billionaire candy-maker Petro Poroshenko maintains his commanding lead. International observers praised the election as genuine, despite the millions who couldn't vote due to violence in eastern providences.

The elections could be a major step in bringing legitimacy to the Kiev government if it can navigate the pitfalls of pro-Russian extremists in the East and hardline Ukrainian nationalists in the West.

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Another round of nuclear talks between world powers in Iran ended yesterday and negotiations are expected to run through July. The U.S. wants to limit Iran's nuclear program. Iran wants relief from economic sanctions, but there are some mysteries, including rumors and reports about old weapons programs Iran allegedly hid.

And that poses a dilemma. How does it admit to past concealment? Well, it asked the world to trust it under a new deal. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from the talks in Vienna.

Almost a year into Hassan Rouhani's presidency, the wave of high expectations that marked his rise to power in Iran has given way to impatience from his supporters and increasing attacks from his critics.

As Iranian negotiators headed to New York last week for expert-level nuclear talks, conservatives spoke out in parliament and gathered at the old U.S. Embassy in Tehran for some of the boldest attacks yet on Rouhani's leadership. Until now, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has kept hardliners relatively quiet about the nuclear negotiations, which resume Tuesday in Vienna.

If we mention the northwestern Turkish city of Edirne, tucked up near the borders with Greece and Bulgaria, you may think, "Oh brother, not another story about olive oil wrestling."

Yes, it's true that each summer for the last 650 or so years Edirne has hosted the Kirkpinar Olive Oil Wrestling Festival, in which half-naked men slathered in fragrant oil grapple in the grass. It's activity that's even recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Event.

Some countries in Syria's neighborhood are feeling inundated with refugees, and countries like Greece are making it harder for them to enter the country. Now Bulgaria has followed suit, with growing reports of Syrian refugees facing violent beatings, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch.

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Turkey has seen its share of political controversies lately, including large protests and a government ban of Twitter. Despite that, the ruling party appears to be maintaining its popularity. But now it may face a split in its highest ranks. There's competition brewing between its two main figures: President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that many are wary of Erdogan's growing power.

As Ukraine seeks international help to bring Crimea back from Russian control, residents of Odessa watching warily. The historic Black Sea port has been conquered repeatedly throughout history.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have left Moscow on the outs with Germany, France, Britain and the U.S. Those countries are partnered with Russia in talks with Iran over its nuclear program.

With the Crimean peninsula effectively controlled by Russia, Ukrainian officials worry about another Black Sea port, Odessa. Ukraine fears this area with a Russian minority could be a tempting target.

After a winter of lightning-fast changes – a president ousted and a peninsula apparently lost to Russia — Ukrainians are beginning to look ahead to elections on May 25 to replace Viktor Yanukovych.

The opposition leader who seemed to have the inside track a few weeks ago, ex-world champion heavyweight Vitali Klitschko, has taken himself out of the running. Klitschko will stand for mayor of Kiev and throw his support behind billionaire Petro Poroshenko, who made his fortune in the candy business.

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Talks resume this week in Vienna over Iran's nuclear program. Western powers want to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons. Iran wants relief from economic sanctions. Well, today, we look at one of the issues: the construction of Iran's heavy-water reactor near the city of Arak. Critics doubt Iran's claims that the reactor is just for medical research, not weapons.

Here's NPR's Peter Kenyon.

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And as Gregory said a few moments ago, the outcome of the referendum in Crimea is of particular interest to the Tatars, that minority community of Muslims that has a history of being oppressed by Russia. The Tatars have linguistic and religious ties to Turkey, just across the Black Sea. NPR's Peter Kenyon reported from Crimea last week, and has now returned to his base in Istanbul. He says that while Turkey might want to assert itself regionally and stand up for the Tatars, there's a limit to how much it can influence events.

With no end in sight to the Ukraine crisis, Russian lawmakers say they're considering a bill to make it easier for ethnic Russians and other Ukrainians to obtain Russian passports.

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