Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has backed out of a scheduled interview with veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour this week after she refused to wear a headscarf for the meeting, she revealed in a series of tweets.
The CNN International anchor said the interview was scheduled for Wednesday evening, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, and was to be Mr. Raisi’s first on American soil.
Raisi’s visit to the United States comes as protests have erupted across Iran over the killing of a 22-year-old woman who was being held by the vice squad, which enforces the Republic’s strict religious laws Islamic.
“After weeks of planning and eight hours of setting up translation equipment, lights and cameras, we were ready. But no sign of President Raisi,” Ms Amanpour said. wrote on Twitter.
Some 40 minutes into the interview, Ms Amanpour said she was approached by an aide to the president, who suggested she wear a headscarf.
“I politely declined. We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding the headscarf. I pointed out that no former Iranian president had demanded this when I interviewed them outside of Iran,” she wrote.
“The assistant specified that the interview would not take place if I was not wearing a headscarf. He said it was “a matter of respect” and referred to “the situation in Iran – alluding to the protests sweeping the country”, she added. continued.
Mrs. Amanpour again said she could not accept the “unprecedented and unexpected condition”.
She added: “And so we walked away. The interview did not take place. As protests continue in Iran and people are killed, this would have been an important time to speak with President Raisi.
Protests have spread across Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested over the weekend by vice police for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women. Iranian police reportedly said she died of a heart attack, but her family questioned that claim. Eyewitnesses reportedly saw Amini being beaten by police during her arrest and footage shared from her hospital bed showed her bleeding from her ears and with bruises under her eyes.
As protests erupted in at least 12 cities, according to an Associated Press tally, authorities moved to disrupt internet access and blackouts were reported on Instagram and WhatsApp.
The protests grew in scale and, in some places, went from anger over Amini’s death to a direct challenge to the Iranian government. Videos posted online show protesters chanting “death to the dictator”.
The Independent Gt