She held on. CNN star journalist Christiane Amanpour said on Thursday that she refused to wear the veil to interview Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, which she said caused the cancellation of the face-to-face meeting in the midst of protests in the country after the death of a young Iranian woman arrested for “wearing inappropriate clothes” by the morality police. According to the NGO Iran Human Rights, at least 31 people have been killed since the beginning of the mobilization.
“I politely declined”
According to the tweets of the head of the international antenna of CNN, an adviser to the Iranian president came to see her “40 minutes after the time at which the interview should have started”, to tell her that Ebrahim Raïsi “suggested” that she wears a veil, “because these are the holy months of Muharram and Safar”.
“I politely declined. We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding the wearing of headscarves. I pointed out that no previous Iranian president had demanded it when I interviewed him outside Iran,” explained the British-born journalist to an Iranian father.
According to this international figure from CNN, the adviser explained to him that under these conditions the interview, which was to take place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, would not take place.
“So we gave up. The interview did not take place. As protests continue in Iran and people are killed, it would have been important to speak with President Raisi,” concluded Christiane Amanpour, who posted a photo of herself in front of an empty chair.
Protests, in which at least 17 people have died according to state media reports, have erupted in Iran since authorities announced the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16. She had been arrested for “wearing inappropriate clothing” by the vice police, responsible for enforcing the strict dress code in the Islamic Republic.