The leader’s first-ever interview on US soil was canceled after he allegedly insisted that a female reporter don a head scarf
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour is seen ahead of a planned interview with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi which was ultimately canceled, in New York, September 22, 2022. © Christiane Amanpour / Twitter / @amanpour
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour has canceled an interview with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, claiming he demanded she wear a head covering in line with Islamic custom and that she “politely declined.” The incident comes amid outrage and protests in Iran over a young woman’s death in police custody after she was arrested over “inappropriate” headwear.
Amanpour took to Twitter on Thursday morning to discuss the ill-fated interview, which would have been Raisi’s first on American soil. She said the president was initially late for the engagement, and that 40 minutes after it was set to begin, an aide approached her to suggest she wear a hijab during the sit-down “because it’s the holy months of Muharram and Safar.”
“I politely declined. We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding headscarves,” Amanpour wrote, adding “I pointed out that no previous Iranian president has required this when I have interviewed them outside Iran.”