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CNN’s Amanpour refuses to wear headscarf, Iran’s Raisi cancels interview

“He [the aide] said it was “a matter of respect,” and referred to “the situation in Iran” - alluding to the protests sweeping the country,” according to Amanpour.

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Iran’s president refused to show up for a scheduled interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday night after she refused to wear a headscarf as demanded by Ebrahim Raisi.

Amanpour, an Iranian-British journalist, posted a thread to Twitter describing what she encountered after waiting 40 minutes for the interview to start.

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“40 minutes after the interview had been due to start, an aide came over. The president, he said, was suggesting I wear a headscarf, because it’s the holy months of Muharram and Safar,” she said.

Amanpour said she politely declined, citing her presence in New York and no law or tradition requiring wearing a headscarf.

But the aide said there would be no interview if she did not comply with Raisi’s demand. “He [the aide] said it was “a matter of respect,” and referred to “the situation in Iran” - alluding to the protests sweeping the country,” according to Amanpour.

Protests have rocked Iran this week, with Iranians, specifically women, burning their hijabs in response to the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s morality police last week.

Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, fell into a coma shortly after being arrested for “improper hijab.” She died on Friday, prompting protests on social media and the streets.

On Thursday, Amanpour said the protests and death of Amini were topics she planned to ask the Iranian president about. “As protests continue in Iran and people are being killed, it would have been an important moment to speak with President Raisi,” Amanpour said.

Speaking on Friday to CNN, Amanpour said she has interviewed every Iranian president since 1995 and was never asked to wear a headscarf outside of Iran.

Read more: US sanctions Iran’s morality police, six individuals after Mahsa Amini’s death

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