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An interview between CNN’s International Anchor Director Christiane Amanpour and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was abruptly canceled because Amanpour refused to wear a headscarf, she recounted on Twitter.
Iran’s state news agency did not specify the reason for the sudden cancellation, but blamed Amanpour “for refusing protocol.” The protocol, it said, “is being determined by the client.”
Amanpour said she is planning to discuss Massive protests in Iranincluding many cases of women burning headscarves to protest the death in police custody of a young woman named Mahsa Amini, among other topics.
But after her team waited 40 minutes for Raisi, one of his aides approached her. “The president, he said, asked me to wear the hijab, because it is the holy month of Muharram and Safar,” Amanpour said.
“I politely decline. We are in New York, where there are no laws or traditions regarding the headscarf,” Amanpour added. “I pointed out that none of the previous Iranian presidents asked for this when I interviewed them outside of Iran.”
This time, the aide made it clear that a headscarf was a condition of the interview, describing it as “a matter of respect”, according to the veteran journalist. It’s a condition that Amanpour calls “unprecedented and unexpected.”
Amanpour’s father I’m Iranian and she spent part of her childhood in Tehran.