After 40 minutes, the assistant appeared with an ultimatum. – It’s about respect, he said.
Everything was ready for the interview. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi should have the opportunity to explain himself about the protests that have spread throughout Iran in recent days.
Women in the country rage. They have taken to the streets, burning hijabs and cutting off their hair.
The reason is Mahsa Amini. Last week, the 22-year-old from the province of Kurdistan visited Iran’s capital, Tehran. Apparently she hadn’t covered her hair properly. That’s why the morality police, responsible for enforcing the dress codes that apply to women in Iran, arrested her.
On September 16, she died. She had then been in a coma for three days. The authorities say it was because of the heart.
It is a lie, Mahsa Amini’s father, Amjad Amini, told the BBC on Wednesday. The daughter had no health problems, he stressed.
He said he had been shown Mahsa’s covered body. He couldn’t see her upper body, but she had bruises up her legs.
According to witnesses, Mahsa was beaten up when she was arrested.
Refused to submit
– We are now seeing the biggest challenge the Islamic regime has faced since 2019. Hadi Ghaemi, the head of the American think tank the Center for Human Rights in Iran, told Radio Free Europe.
He referred to the mass protests against the regime in 2019.
How is Iran handling what is happening? This is what CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour was going to ask Ebrahim Raisi about in the planned interview this week. Amanpour writes in one
where she tells what happened.
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. 1/7— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) September 22, 2022
The interview should have taken place in New York. It would be Raisi’s first interview outside of Iran. But one important thing was missing: the president.
40 minutes after the interview was supposed to start, one of his assistants appeared. Raisi would only be interviewed on one condition, he said. Amanpour had to wear a headscarf.
– It’s about respect, said the assistant. This is how Amanpour describes it in the Twitter thread.
“We’re in New York. There is no law or tradition when it comes to headscarves,” writes the CNN veteran.
“So we withdrew. The interview did not happen. As protests continue to spread across Iran, and people are killed, this would have been an important moment to speak with the president,” Amanpour writes.
– An evil strategy
Human rights organizations say that at least 31 people have been killed in the protests. The news agency reported
Now the regime is working harder to put an end to the riots. The army is deployed, Reuters reported on Friday.
Iran’s military claims the protests are part of a plot against Iran.
– These desperate actions are part of an evil strategy to weaken the Islamic regime, they said in a statement.
Arrested and “retrained”
On Thursday, the United States introduced sanctions against the morality police in Iran.
– The morality police are responsible for abuse and violence against Iranian women, the US authorities said in a press release.
– The moral police are responsible for the recent death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, they emphasize.
However, this is about more than Amini’s death, writes The Economist about the uprising led by women.
“Their minds have been nurtured by four decades of religious restrictions that have hit women the hardest.”
They point out that the country’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has tightened his grip on power. Iran is becoming increasingly conservative. Several hundred women have been arrested and sent to institutions where they will be “re-educated”, according to CNN. The practice was introduced in 2019.
However, The Economist is not sure whether the latest round of protests will lead to change in Iran:
“Many expect that after a few more days of killing, a blanket of fear will once again spread over Iran.”