Christiane Amanpour releases statement on failed interview with President of Iran

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Amidst protests by Iranian women against the government’s imposition of hijabs, CNN reporter, Christiane Amanpour scheduled an interview with the president of Iran. An interview that never took place.

Christiane Amanpour released a statement regarding the failed interview detailing the events that led to it;

Protests are sweeping Iran & women are burning their hijabs after the death last week of Mahsa Amini, following her arrest by the “morality police”. Human rights groups say at least 8 have been killed. Last night, I planned to ask President Raisi about all this and much more.

This was going to be President Raisi’s first ever interview on US soil, during his visit to NY for UNGA. After weeks of planning and eight hours of setting up translation equipment, lights and cameras, we were ready. But no sign of President Raisi.

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.

I politely declined. We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding headscarves. I pointed out that no previous Iranian president has required this when I have interviewed them outside Iran.

The aide made it clear that the interview would not happen if I did not wear a headscarf. He said it was “a matter of respect,” and referred to “the situation in Iran” – alluding to the protests sweeping the country.

Again, I said that I couldn’t agree to this unprecedented and unexpected condition.

And so we walked away. The interview didn’t happen. As protests continue in Iran and people are being killed, it would have been an important moment to speak with President Raisi.

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