Iran’s president breaks off interview after CNN reporter refuses to wear headscarf

Posted on

Christiane Amanpour was all set to interview Iran’s president in New York on Wednesday when Iranian officials stepped in with a last-minute condition: The CNN host would have to wear a head covering, in deference to Iranian custom and an Islamic religious ritual.

Amanpour said she refused – at which point aides to President Ebrahim Raisi cancelled the interview, setting off an incident that underscored tensions over women’s rights in Iran.

Christiane Amanpour and the chair left empty by Iran’s president.

Christiane Amanpour and the chair left empty by Iran’s president.Credit:Christiane Amanpour/Twitter

“I refused to fold or cave to enable [the Iranians] to impose the laws of their land on our land,” Amanpour told The Washington Post on Thursday. She added, “I stood up for myself as a journalist.”

Iranian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The incident comes as protests take place across Iran over Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died while in police custody last week. Amini was arrested in Tehran by Iran’s “morality police” over her public attire. Her family has disputed Iranian officials’ claims that she died of heart failure.

In protest, demonstrators have burned hijabs and other such coverings, and women have publicly cut their hair in defiance of the country’s leadership. Security forces attempting to quell the protests have killed at least eight people, according to the human rights group Amnesty International.

A protest over the death of a woman who was detained by the morality police, in downtown Tehran, Iran.

A protest over the death of a woman who was detained by the morality police, in downtown Tehran, Iran.Credit:AP

In interviews and a Twitter thread, Amanpour said she had already sat down to interview Raisi at the United Nations on Wednesday – the president was in town for a meeting of the UN’s general assembly – when officials insisted that she cover her hair. They cited the advent of Muharram, a communal mourning season observed primarily by Shiite Muslims.

But Amanpour suggested that Raisi did not want to be seen being interviewed by an uncovered woman at a time when protests over head coverings are raging in Iran. She said she had told Iranian officials beforehand that she intended to ask about the protests.

Original Article: Click Here

See also  Princes put aside differences to appear in public together

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.