Iran’s president Ahmed Raisi cancelled a long-planned interview with Christiane Amanpour of CNN on Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly after she refused his request that she wear a scarf over her head.
The interview has been cancelled at a time when there is a pervasive uproar in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who reportedly died from a ‘heart attack’ hours after being detained by morality police for breaking the law requiring women to cover their heads in public.
Hardliner Raisi was in New York for the UN General Assembly meeting and had an interview with CNN’s top foreign anchor, Amanpour, the network said. According to CNN, the Iranian president cancelled the interview after she said no to a last-minute request to cover her head.
As it was the months of Muharram and Safar and hence ‘a matter of respect,’ Amanpour claimed that Raisi’s aide made it plain that an interview would not take place if she did not wear a headscarf. ‘I very politely declined on behalf of myself and CNN, and female journalists everywhere because it is not a requirement,’ Amanpour was cited by CNN as saying.