CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour reported on social media that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi refused to interview her because she did not wear a headscarf during the interview. The conversation was to take place in New York on the occasion of the United Nations meeting.
According to Christiane Amanpour, before the interview began, Ebrahim Raisi’s aide at the appointed place tried to convince the journalist to put on a headscarf and explained that the president’s demand was related to “the situation in Iran“.
The journalist refused, and as she pointed out on Thursday on Twitter, reporting the situation, none of the previous Iranian presidents asked her when she interviewed them outside of Iran.
“An unprecedented and unexpected event”
“We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding headscarves,” she wrote, adding that Raisi’s adviser had warned her that the interview would not take place if the journalist did not wear a headscarf, as it was “a matter of respect”.
According to Amanpour’s account, after her categorical refusal, Raisi canceled the interview. The journalist called the whole incident “an unprecedented and unexpected event”. She then posted on social media a picture of herself without a headscarf in front of the empty chair Raisi would be sitting on during the interview.
Protests in Iran after the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman
Massive protests have continued in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Mahsa Amini, detained by the Iranian moral police over a headdress that officials said did not cover her hair sufficiently. After being arrested, the young woman fell into a coma under unclear circumstances and died in the hospital.
Post-death protests broke out in front of a hospital in Tehran last Friday, shortly after the woman’s death was confirmed. Her family members accused the police of violence, while Iranian authorities pointed to heart problems that were supposed to lead Mahsa to fall into a coma. According to her family, she did not suffer from any cardiovascular disease.
The largest number of protests took place in the Kurdistan province, where the woman came from. Currently, the demonstrations cover more than 50 cities, including Tehran, throughout Iran. Anti-regime slogans appeared among the demonstrators, and some of the women participating in the protests began to burn scarves or cut their hair, which was prescribed in Iran’s sharia law.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, one of the components of the Iranian armed forces, called on Thursday national courts to prosecute people spreading false information about Mahsa Amini’s death. “We are in solidarity with the family of the deceased woman and we have applied to the courts to identify and prosecute people spreading false information and rumors that jeopardize the psychological safety of society,” the Corps said in a statement.
As a result of protests after the death of Mahsa Amini, more than 30 people have been killed so far, AFP reported on Thursday. Iranian authorities denied allegations that the protesters had been murdered by law enforcement, accusing armed opposition groups of it. At least two members of Basij, a pro-government paramilitary organization, were killed in the riots.
Main photo source: Twitter / @ amanpour