CNN’s Amanpour denies Iranian president’s headscarf request
CNN’s veteran international affairs correspondent Christiane Amanpour said a scheduled television interview with the Iranian president this week was canceled after she refused his request to wear a head covering.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was among hundreds of world leaders who traveled to New York this week to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly.
Amanpour took to Twitter on Thursday, posting a photo showing her sitting in front of an empty chair believed to be occupied by Raisi during their interview.
She said she wanted to ask the Iranian leader about the protests that erupted in his country following the death of a 22-year-old woman who was taken into police custody for refusing to wear a head covering.
« Protests are sweeping Iran and women are burning their hijabs following the death last week of Mahsa Amini following her arrest by ‘morality police’, » Amanpour tweeted on Thursday.
“Human rights groups say at least 8 people have been killed. Last night I had planned to question President Raisi about all of this and more.
British-born Amanpour, whose father was Iranian, said the interview was scheduled weeks in advance. She tweeted that it took CNN crews eight hours to set up the translation equipment, lights and cameras.
« But no sign of President Raisi, » said Amanpour, 64, who lived in Tehran until he was 11.
The veteran radio journalist then said that « 40 minutes into the interview an assistant came. »
“The president, he said, was suggesting that I wear a headscarf, as these are the holy months of Muharram and Safar,” Amanpour tweeted.
« I politely declined, » Amanpour tweeted.
« We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding the headscarf. »
She added, « I pointed out that no former Iranian president demanded this when I interviewed them outside of Iran. »
“Help made it clear that the interview would not take place if I was not wearing a headscarf,” Amanpour tweeted.
« He said it was ‘a matter of respect’ and brought up ‘the situation in Iran’ – alluding to the protests sweeping the country, » the veteran told CNN.
She then tweeted: « Once again I have said that I cannot accept this unprecedented and unexpected condition. »
Amanpour ended the tweet thread by writing, « And so we walked away. »
“The interview did not take place. As protests continue in Iran and people are killed, this would have been an important time to speak with President Raisi.
The Post has sought comments from the Iranian government.