Renowned TV reporter Christiane Amanpour refused to interview Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi after she was asked to wear a headscarf. The CNN anchor was told by Raisi's aide to wear a headscarf before the interview. Iran is witnessing protests by rights groups and women, who oppose wearing a headscarf in the country.
At least 31 protestors have died in the past few days in Iran's as security forces cracked down on people who protested over the death of Mahsa Amini, who was beaten to death for not wearing a headscarf.
Amanpour was scheduled to interview Raisi at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday. But at the last minute, the Iranian leader asked her to wear a headscarf.
Iranian President Demands Asks Amanpour To Wear HEADSCARF
Declining Raisi's request, Amanpour pointed out that no previous Iranian president has required this when I interviewed them outside Iran. "We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding headscarves."
Raisi Was Set To be Interviewed At UN Headquarter
Stating that this was going to be President Raisi's first ever interview on US soil, during his visit to New York for UNGA, Amanpour stated that after weeks of planning and eight hours of setting up translation equipment, lights and cameras, "we were ready. But no sign of President Raisi."
Raisi's Aide Told Amanpour To Wear headscarves As It's Holy Months of Muharram
She pointed out that 40 minutes after the interview had been due to start, an aide came over. The president, he said, was suggesting I wear a headscarf, because it's the holy months of Muharram and Safar, according to Amanpour.
Amanpour politely Declined As The US Has No Law Regarding Headscarves
"I politely declined. We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding headscarves. I pointed out that no previous Iranian president has required this when I have interviewed them outside Iran," she said.
The veteran anchor highlighted that the aide made it clear that the interview would not happen if I did not wear a headscarf.
Amanpour And Her Team Decided To Walk Away
She also revealed that the aide told her that it was a matter of respect and referred to the situation in Iran - alluding to the protests sweeping the country. But she didn't 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.