Veteran CNN journalist and anchor Christiane Amanpour has cancelled an interview with Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi after he demanded that she wear a headscarf for their meeting in New York. This happened in USA during the ongoing UNGA session in New York.
The interview would have been President Ebrahim Raisi’s first on US soil.
In a Twitter post, Amanpour said she had been ready to start when one of the president‘s aides insisted she cover her hair, at the president‘s request.
“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 wrote.
“The aide made it clear that the interview would not happen if I did not wear a headscarf. He said it was ‘a matter of respect, and referred to ‘the situation in Iran’ — alluding to the protests sweeping the country.”
She said she then decided to “walk away” from the interview.
“The interview didn’t happen … it would have been an important moment to speak with President Raisi,” she said.
Unrest sparked by the death in custody of Iranian woman Mahsa Amini continues to rage in the country, with police stations set on fire and women burning their headscarves in protest.
The 22-year-old was detained by Iran’s morality police who were enforcing the country’s strict hijab rules.
She fell into a coma for three days in detention before dying in hospital.
Police have said she suffered a heart attack, and have denied allegations she was beaten. Mr Raisi has announced an investigation into the cause of her death.
At least 31 civilians have been killed in the subsequent unrest, according to one human rights group, while state television put the death toll at 17.
This article is actually appeared in ABC Australia