Iranian President Raisi cancels interview after female anchor refuses to wear hijab

New York: Iran president Ebrahim Raisi, who is currently in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, cancelled an interview with veteran CNN news anchor Christiane Amanpour after she refused to wear a headscarf(hijab).

The interview was going to be Raisi’s first ever interview in the United States. CNN Journalist Amanpour said that she was asked to wear a headscarf as a matter of respect given ‘the situation in Iran’.

Violent clashes have erupted between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody over the weekend. The police crackdown has so far claimed at least 31 lives.

In a series of tweets, CNN anchor  Amanpour described the entire story behind the cancellation of the interview. 

She tweeted, “This was going to be President Raisi’s first ever interview on US soil, during his visit to NY for UNGA. After weeks of planning and eight hours of setting up translation equipment, lights and cameras, we were ready. But no sign of President Raisi.”

In a different tweet Amanpour said, “40 minutes after the interview had been due to start, an aide came over. The president, he said, was suggesting I wear a headscarf because it’s the holy months of Muharram and Safar.”

She added, “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 further tweeted, “And so we walked away. The interview didn’t happen. As protests continue in Iran and people are being killed, it would have been an important moment to speak with President Raisi.”

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