Report Wire - Iranian president Raisi declines CNN interview after anchor refuses to put on scarf

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Iranian president Raisi declines CNN interview after anchor refuses to put on scarf

2 min read
Press Trust of India

Iran’s President Ahmed Raisi cancelled a long-planned interview with CNN’s veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour on the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday after she declined his demand that she cowl her head with a shawl throughout the interview.

The cancellation of the scheduled interview comes at a time when Iran is seeing a nationwide protest over the loss of life of a 22-year-old girl Mahsa Amini, who reportedly died of a ‘coronary heart assault’ hours after morality police arrested her for violating the nation’s obligatory rule for girls to cowl their head in public.

Raisi, a hard-liner who was in New York to attend the UN General Assembly session, had a scheduled interview with Amanpour, CNN’s chief worldwide anchor, the community reported.

The Iranian president cancelled the interview after she declined a last-minute demand to put on a headband, CNN stated.

Amanpour in a sequence of tweets stated that Raisi’s aide made it clear that an interview wouldn’t occur if she didn’t put on a headband, because it was the months of Muharram and Safar and therefore is “a matter of respect”.

ALSO READ | Anti-hijab protests unfold in Iran, loss of life toll rises as web curbed

“I very politely declined on behalf of myself and CNN, and female journalists everywhere because it is not a requirement”, Amanpour was quoted as saying by CNN.

Amanpour, 64, who grew up in Tehran said she often wears a head scarf while reporting in Iran to comply with the country’s laws but she could not cover her head to interview an Iranian official outside a country where there is no such compulsion.

“Here in New York, or anywhere else outside of Iran, I have never been asked by any Iranian president and I have interviewed every single one of them since 1995 either inside or outside of Iran, never been asked to wear a head scarf,” she stated on CNN’s “New Day” programme on Thursday.

The loss of life of Mahsa whereas in police custody has since then sparked outrage and has seen ladies approaching the streets to burn their ‘hijab’ (scarf). Some have additionally posted movies on social media of chopping their hair.

The protests, that are of their seventh day, have prompted the loss of life of at the least 26 individuals, as per Iranian’s state TV.

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