Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi cancels interview with CNN anchor after refusing to wear hijab

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Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi reportedly canceled an interview with CNN reporter Christian Amanpour in New York. On Twitter, CNN’s chief international anchor told in a series of posts how he was scheduled to meet Raisi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, but decided to pull out after an “unprecedented and unexpected condition” set by Raisi. Interview.

In her tweets, Amanpour wrote that she plans to ask the Iranian president about “the ongoing protests in Iran and other topics following the death in custody of Mahza Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested and beaten by the discipline police.” The hijab is said to have violated laws.

“This was President Rice’s first interview on US soil during his visit to NY for UNGA. After weeks of planning and eight hours of setting up translation equipment, lights and cameras, we were ready. But no sign of President Raisi,” Amanpour posted.

According to her, 40 minutes after the interview was scheduled to begin, an assistant arrived and told her Raisi was “recommending.” [she] Since Muharram and Safar are holy months, wear a veil.

Amanpour rejected the request, saying, “We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding headscarves.” She also noted that no other Iranian president she has interviewed outside of Iran in the past has required her to wear a headscarf.

“The assistant made it clear that the interview would not take place if I did not wear the headscarf. He said it was a matter of respect and referred to the ‘situation in Iran’ – which refers to the protests that are spreading in the country,” Amanpour said. “Again, I said I cannot agree to this unprecedented and unexpected condition.”

The senior British-Iranian journalist and his team left and the interview did not take place.

Along with his last tweet, Amanpur posted a photo in which he can be seen sitting alone across an empty chair set up for Raisi with his head uncovered.

Kudos to Amanpur

Amanpour’s firm decision to not heed Raisi’s request to wear a hijab earned him praise online.

Meanwhile, during a media briefing Thursday morning, Raisi was repeatedly asked about the death of the 22-year-old woman in custody, which Iranian officials initially tried to limit in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear deal with the West, The Guardian reported.

Responding to questions, Raisi reiterated the official claim that Amini died of a heart attack, adding that similar custodial deaths had occurred in the US and UK.

In Iran, at least 31 people have been killed in protests over the past six days as security forces cracked down on demonstrators protesting Amini’s death. Videos shared on social media show Iranian women burning their veils and protesting against cutting their hair.

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