Iran’s president cancels an interview with Christiane Amanpour in New York after she refused to wear a veil

Iran’s president cancels an interview with Christiane Amanpour in New York after she refused to wear a veil

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has walked out of a scheduled interview with veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour this week after she refused to wear a veil for the meeting, he revealed in a series of tweets.

The CNN International host said the interview was scheduled for Wednesday night, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, and would be Raisi’s first on US soil.

Raisi’s visit to the United States comes as protests erupted across Iran over the killing of a 22-year-old woman who was in the custody of the morality police, which enforce the Islamic Republic’s strict religious laws.

“After weeks of planning and eight hours of installing translation equipment, lights and cameras, we were ready. But no sign of President Raisi,” said Ms. Amanpour. wrote On twitter.

About 40 minutes after the interview began, Ms. Amanpour said an aide to the president approached her and suggested that she wear a headscarf.

“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 interviewed them outside of Iran,” he wrote.

“The assistant made it clear that the interview would not take place if he 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.” continued.

Mrs Amanpour again said she could not agree to the “unprecedented and unexpected condition”.

She added: “And so we walked away. The interview did not happen. As protests continue in Iran and people are being killed, it would have been an important time to speak with President Raisi.”

Protests have spread across Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, who was detained over the weekend by morality police for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women. Iranian police reportedly said that she died of a heart attack, but her family has disputed her claim. eye witnesses She reportedly watched Amini being beaten by police during her arrest and images shared from her hospital bed showed her bleeding from her ears and bruises under her eyes.

As protests broke out in at least 12 cities, according to an Associated Press count, authorities moved to shut down internet access and blackouts were reported on Instagram and WhatsApp.

The protests have grown in size and in some places have morphed from anger over Amini’s death into a direct challenge to the Iranian government. Videos posted online show protesters chanting “death to the dictator”.

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