CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour (64) shows a picture of an empty chair, where Iran’s president was supposed to sit.
Updated less than 20 minutes ago
«After weeks of planning and eight hours of rigging equipment, lights and cameras, we were ready. But no sign of President Raisi», writes Amanpour Twitter.
CNN also mentions the canceled interview.
40 minutes after the interview was due to start at UN headquarters in New York, one of the president’s aides reportedly approached Amanpour and said that Ebrahim Raisi “suggested that she wear a shawl on her head” because it is the holy month of Muharram.
«I politely refused. We are in New York, where there is no headscarf law. I pointed out that none of the former presidents of Iran, whom I have interviewed outside Iran, have demanded it», writes Amanpour – who was born in London, grew up in Tehran – and has Iranian ancestry.
Background: Used hijab “wrongly” – the death arouses strong reactions
Mahsa Amini (22) died on Friday after being arrested by Iran’s morality police for “incorrect” use of the hijab.
Amanpour explains further – to his 3.2 million followers on Twitter:
«The employee made it clear that this interview would not take place unless I wore a shawl. He said it was “a matter of respect” and referred to the “situation in Iran” – then referring to the demonstrations taking place in the country».
This resulted in a short process.
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Amanpour explained that she could not meet the conditions, and she and the TV crew got up and left the headquarters.
«While the protests are taking place in Iran and people are being killed, this would have been an important time to talk to President Raisi», writes Amanpour.
22-year-old died after hijab arrest
The protests are huge after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died on Friday last week after being arrested by Iran’s morality police for “improper” wearing of the hijab.
The demonstrations have been going on for over a week. At least 17 people are said to have been killed, writes the BBC.
Kurdish Mahsa is said to have been arrested in her brother’s car four days earlier to receive training on wearing the hijab at the police station. According to the BBC, eyewitnesses must have seen her being beaten inside the police car.
Amini was taken to hospital two hours after his arrest. There she lay in a coma until she died.
The authorities claim that they did not beat or mistreat Amini, but that it was heart disease that caused her to fall into a coma and later die.
Ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi (61) won the presidential election in Iran last summer. He has recently introduced a number of restrictions.
Among the measures are surveillance cameras to map women who do not wear the hijab (headscarf) – in order to be able to impose fines, prison sentences or impose “counseling” on them.
Here are more of Amanpour’s Twitter messages:
Christiane Amanpour has been associated with the TV channel since 1983, and has interviewed many of the world’s most prominent figures. In January this year, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre was a guest of the CNN veteran.
In 2009, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited the CNN anchor in the studio: