Veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour said Thursday that an interview with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was canceled because of his insistence on wearing the hijab, which is part of the clergy-run country The focal point of major protests.
Amanpour, CNN’s chief international anchor who also aired on PBS, said she was ready for an interview Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly when an aide insisted she cover her hair.
“I politely declined. We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition about the hijab,” Amanpur, who was born in Britain to an Iranian father, tweeted.
“I pointed out that when I interviewed them outside Iran, no previous Iranian president asked to do so,” she said.
“I said I couldn’t agree with this unprecedented and unexpected situation.”
She posted a picture of herself – without a headscarf – sitting in front of the empty chair where Raisi was supposed to be.
An aide to hardline cleric Raisi told Amanpour that he insisted on wearing the hijab because of “the situation in Iran,” she said.
Iran has been engulfed by nearly a week of protests since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being arrested by morality police enforcing the clergy’s dress code for women.
At least 31 Iranian civilians have been killed in a crackdown on protests in which women were seen burning their headscarves, an NGO said.
(Apart from the title, this story was unedited by NDTV staff and was posted from a syndicated feed.)