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Intolerance Outside Iran: Raisi Refuses Interview Because Amanpour Refused to Wear a Hijab in NY

Presidente de Irán rechazó entrevista en Nueva York porque la periodista se negó a vestir un velo

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CNN‘s chief international anchor, Christiane Amanpour, reported Thursday that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi canceled what was to be her first interview on American soil because the journalist refused to wear a veil as a sign of “respect,” an unusual demand outside Islamic countries.

Amanpour intended to interview Raisi during his visit to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly, amid a historic wave of protests in Iran in which thousands of women are rejecting the mandatory wearing of the hijab after the regime’s “morality police” killed two women for wearing the garment incorrectly.

This was, in fact, one of the topics the journalist would ask the president about.

While women are being murdered in Iran, Raisi demands “respect”

The interview had been planned for weeks, Amanpour explained, and, although everything was ready, Raisi did not show up. Instead, he sent a spokesperson 40 minutes late to make the unusual request that she cover her hair with a veil.


“I politely declined,” Amanpour said. “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.”

However, Raisi’s envoy insisted and said that the interview would not take place if the interviewer did not accept the demand. The president sought to convince Amanpour that it was “a matter of respect” given the “situation in Iran,” referring to the massive protests against his regime.

Standing firm in her stance, Amanpour again refused Raisi’s absurd demand.

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

The historic Iranian women’s revolution has sparked a wave of protests that has spread nationwide, and the crackdown by regime forces has left at least 17 dead.

Tomás Lugo, journalist and writer. Born in Venezuela and graduated in Social Communication. Has written for international media outlets. Currently living in Colombia // Tomás Lugo, periodista y articulista. Nacido en Venezuela y graduado en Comunicación Social. Ha escrito para medios internacionales. Actualmente reside en Colombia.

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