CNN Anchor Christiane Amanpour Walks Out Of Interview With Iranian President After Refusing To Wear Headscarf


Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour walked out of an interview with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in New York City Wednesday after being asked to wear a headscarf.

Amanpour said that the interview was slated to be Raisi’s first on U.S. soil, but an aide approached her 40 minutes after the intended start and suggested she wear a headscarf due to it being the holy months of Muharram and Safar, according to a Thursday Twitter thread.

The anchor said she declined given that an Iranian president has never required this of her in past interviews held outside of Iran. After eight hours of preparation, the aide told her the interview would not happen if she did not comply with Raisi’s request.

“I couldn’t agree to this unprecedented and unexpected condition,” she said via Twitter. “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.” (RELATED: Iranian Regime Cracks Down As Protesters Weak Havoc Across The Country)

She later told CNN’s “New Day” that the custom in Iran is for women to wear a headscarf, but in New York she is not obligated to wear the garment. She said the interview would have addressed the Iran Nuclear Deal and the protests erupting in the country since the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died while in custody of the so-called morality police. Amini was  reportedly arrested for an issue concerning the nation’s rules about women wearing headscarves and other head coverings in public.

Raisi called on the Interior Minister to investigate the cause of the incident “with urgency and special attention,” CBS News reported.

“I very politely declined on behalf of myself and CNN and female journalists everywhere because it is not a requirement and it was lobbed at us at the very last minute and very unfortunately they decided to pull the interview,” Amanpour stated. “So, it’s a problem.”

She suggested that Raisi did not want to be seen with a female journalist without a headscarf at the moment of high tension in his country regarding headscarfs. She added that these protests will not change the nation’s customs given the regime’s power.