Iran’s President abandons CNN interview after Amanpour declines head scarf demand

Iran’s President abandons CNN interview after Amanpour declines head scarf demand

About 40 minutes after the interview was scheduled to start and with Raisi working late, an aide advised Amanpour that the president had urged he put on a scarf. Amanpour mentioned she “politely declined.”

Amanpour, who grew up within the Iranian capital Tehran and speaks fluent Farsi, mentioned she wears a scarf whereas reporting in Iran to adjust to native legal guidelines and customs, “in any other case I would not be capable to function as a journalist.” However she mentioned he wouldn’t put on a head masking to conduct an interview with an Iranian official outdoors a rustic the place it’s not required.

“Right here in New York, or wherever else outdoors of Iran, no Iranian president has ever requested me, and I’ve interviewed each one in all them since 1995, whether or not inside or outdoors of Iran, I’ve by no means been requested to put on a scarf. within the head,” he mentioned Thursday on CNN’s “New Day.”

“I very politely declined on behalf of myself and CNN and ladies journalists world wide as a result of it is not a requirement.”

Iranian regulation requires all ladies to cowl their heads and put on unfastened clothes in public. The rule has been utilized in Iran for the reason that 1979 Islamic Revolution, and is necessary for all ladies within the nation, together with vacationers, visiting political figures and journalists.

Amanpour mentioned Raisi’s aide made it clear that the interview, which might have been the Iranian president’s first on US soil, wouldn’t happen if she didn’t put on a scarf. He referred to it as “a matter of respect”, since it’s the holy months of Muharram and Safar, and referred to “the state of affairs in Iran”, referring to the protests sweeping the nation, he added.

Anti-government protests erupted throughout Iran final week over the loss of life of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody after she was arrested by Iran’s morality police on fees of violating the scarf regulation.
1000’s of individuals have taken to the streets, with some ladies chopping their hair and burning their hijabs in protest in opposition to the regulation. Human rights teams have reported that at the very least eight folks have been killed within the demonstrations, which have confronted heavy repression by authorities, in accordance with witnesses and movies shared on social media.

The demonstrations seem like the largest-scale present of defiance in opposition to the Islamic Republic authorities, which has tightened for the reason that election of the hardline Raisi authorities final 12 months. After eight years of Hassan Rouhani’s average administration, Iran has elected Raisi, an ultra-conservative judicial chief whose views are in keeping with the considering of the nation’s highly effective clergy and supreme chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In Iran, the scarf is a robust image of a set of non-public guidelines imposed by the nation’s clerical leaders, governing what folks can put on, have a look at and do. Over the previous decade, protests have damaged out as many Iranians have resented these limitations.

Amini’s loss of life has fueled a wave of long-simmering anger at restrictions on private freedoms. Surveys and reviews lately have proven {that a} rising variety of Iranians don’t consider that the hijab, or scarf, must be obligatory.

Iranian authorities have claimed Amini died after struggling a “coronary heart assault” and falling right into a coma, however his household has mentioned he didn’t have a pre-existing coronary heart situation, in accordance with Emtedad Information, a pro-reform Iranian media outlet. Skepticism about officers’ account of her loss of life has additionally stoked public outcry.

CCTV footage launched by Iran’s state media confirmed Mahsa Amini collapsing at a “re-education” heart the place she was taken by morality police for “steering” on her apparel.

Amanpour had deliberate to probe Raisi about Amini’s loss of life and the protests, in addition to the nuclear deal and Iran’s assist for Russia in Ukraine, however mentioned he needed to again off.

“As protests proceed in Iran and persons are being killed, it will have been an essential second to talk with President Raisi,” he mentioned in a press release. Twitter thread.

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