Peter Kenyon

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Turkey has been governed for most of the past two decades by a party steeped in political Islam. So when a pollster recently surveyed personal beliefs, there was a finding that stood out: Levels of piety were flat, or even declining, compared with a decade ago.

The apparent shift is not seismic, but it has Turks talking about where their country is headed.

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Iran's economy is struggling. U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil, banking and other sectors have tightened. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports that Iranians blame the Trump administration but also their government and even themselves.

One of candidate Donald Trump's pledges during the 2016 election campaign was to get tougher on Iran. He slammed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as a lopsided giveaway to Tehran, and promised a return of American sanctions on Iran.

President Trump has been true to his word, making 2018 a difficult year for Iran.

Although other countries have stuck with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed with Iran, Trump pulled the United States out of the deal in May and announced that U.S. economic sanctions on Iran would return in two phases.

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Tension is rising between Iran and the United States these days. But Iran's leaders are facing pressure from various sides at home, too.

Ordinary Iranians are mounting protests that refuse to go away, despite a sharp response from the authorities.

The demonstrations began to make news late last year, focusing largely on economic hardship. As those protests continued in cities around the country, another movement re-emerged: young women standing up against the enforcement of conservative Muslim strictures on their dress and behavior.

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