Ebrahim Raisi cancels interview after CNN’s Amanpour refuses to wear a headscarf
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who is currently in New York for the UN General Assembly, was scheduled to have an interview with Christiane Amanpour of CNN. Raisi canceled the interview after Amanpour refused to put on a headscarf.
Amanpour, explaining what had happened on Twitter said that she planned to ask President Raisi about the current protests in Iran.
“Protests are sweeping Iran and women are burning their hijabs after the death last week of Mahsa Amini, following her arrest by the 'morality police'. Human rights groups say at least eight have been killed. Last night, I planned to ask President Raisi about all this and much more,” Amanpour said.
The canceled interview was going to be Raisi’s first interview in the US. Amanpour said that after weeks of planning and eight hours of setting up equipment, Raisi was not there.
40 minutes later, an aide came over and told Amanpour that the President suggested that she should wear a headscarf since it is the holy month of Muharram and Safar.
Amanpour declined, saying that they are in New York and there is no law or tradition on headscarves. She reminded that she did not have to put on a headscarf during her previous interviews outside Iran with former Iranian Presidents Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Hassan Rouhani.
The aide told Amanpour that “it is a matter of respect” and if she did not wear a headscarf the interview would not happen. Amanpour again said that she could not agree to this unprecedented and unexpected condition.
“And so we walked away. The interview didn’t happen. As protests continue in Iran and people are being killed, it would have been an important moment to speak with President Raisi,” said Amanpour.