About 40 minutes after the interview was scheduled to start, Mr Raisi was late and the aide told Mr Amanpour that the president had suggested he wear a headscarf. Amanpour said he “politely declined”.
Amanpour, who grew up in Iran’s capital Tehran and speaks fluent Persian, said he wears a head scarf when reporting in Iran in accordance with local laws and customs. But she said she would not cover her head to conduct interviews with Iranian officials outside the country where it was not necessary.
“Neither here in New York nor anywhere outside of Iran, I have never been asked by an Iranian president. Since 1995, I have interviewed every president, both inside and outside of Iran. Headscarf.” she said on CNN’s “New Day” show on Thursday.
“On behalf of myself, CNN, and female journalists around the world, I have very politely declined.
Iranian law requires all women to cover their heads and wear loose clothing in public. The rule has been in force in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and is mandatory for all women in the country, including tourists, visiting politicians and journalists.
Amanpour said Raisi’s aide revealed that the interview, which would have been the Iranian president’s first, would not take place if Raisi did not wear the headscarf. Stated. Given that it is the holy month of Muharram and Safar, he called it a “issue of respect,” referring to the “situation in Iran,” alluding to the protests sweeping the country, she added.
The demonstrations appear to be the largest display of defiance of the Islamic Republic’s rule, which has become tougher since the election of the hardline government in Raisi last year. Iran has elected an ultra-conservative attorney general, Raisi. His views are in line with those of the country’s powerful cleric and supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
In Iran, the head scarf is a powerful set of personal rules imposed by the country’s clerical leaders that govern what people can wear, see, and do. Over the past decade, protests have intensified as many Iranians have become outraged by these restrictions.
Amini’s death has sparked a long-simmering outburst of anger against restrictions on personal freedom. Recent surveys and reports show that more and more Iranians believe that wearing the hijab or head scarf should not be compulsory.
Iranian officials claim that Amini died after suffering a “heart attack” and slipping into a coma, but her family, according to Iran’s reformed media Emtedad News, said she had died. said there was no heart disease. Skepticism over the authorities’ account of her death has also fueled public outcry.
CCTV footage released by Iranian state media shows Mercer Amini lying down in a “re-education” center, where she was taken away by morality police and given “guidance” on dress.
Amanpour had planned to investigate Raisi over Amini’s death and protests, the nuclear deal and Iran’s support for Russia in Ukraine, but said she had to leave.