Some 40 minutes after the interview was scheduled because of begin and with Raisi operating late, an aide informed Amanpour the president had steered that she put on a head scarf. Amanpour mentioned that she “politely declined.”
Amanpour, who grew up within the Iranian capital Tehran and is a fluent Farsi speaker, mentioned that she wears a head scarf whereas reporting in Iran to adjust to the native legal guidelines and customs, “otherwise you couldn’t operate as a journalist.” But she mentioned that she wouldn’t cowl her head to conduct an interview with an Iranian official outdoors a rustic the place it isn’t required.
“Here in New York, or anywhere else outside of Iran, I have never been asked by any Iranian president — and I have interviewed every single one of them since 1995 — either inside or outside of Iran, never been asked to wear a head scarf,” she mentioned on CNN’s “New Day” program Thursday.
“I very politely declined on behalf of myself and CNN, and female journalists everywhere because it is not a requirement.”
Iranian regulation requires all ladies to put on a head overlaying and loose-fitting clothes in public. The rule has been enforced in Iran for the reason that 1979 Islamic Revolution, and it’s compulsory for each lady within the nation — together with vacationers, visiting political figures and journalists.
Amanpour mentioned that Raisi’s aide made clear that the interview — which might have been the Iranian president’s first on American soil — wouldn’t occur if she didn’t put on a head scarf. He referred to it as “a matter of respect,” given that it’s the holy months of Muharram and Safar, and referred to “the situation in Iran,” alluding to the protests sweeping the nation, she added.
The demonstrations look like probably the most large-scale shows of defiance towards the Islamic Republic’s rule, one which has change into extra stringent for the reason that election of Raisi’s hard-line authorities final yr. After eight years of Hassan Rouhani’s average administration, Iran elected Raisi, an ultra-conservative judiciary chief whose views are according to the considering of the nation’s highly effective clergy and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
In Iran, the head scarf is a potent image of a set of non-public guidelines imposed by the nation’s clerical leaders, which govern what folks can put on, watch and do. Over the previous decade, protests have flared as many Iranians have grown resentful of these limitations.
Amini’s dying has fueled an outpouring of long-simmering anger over restrictions on private freedoms. Surveys and reviews in recent times have proven an growing variety of Iranians don’t imagine the hijab, or head scarf, ought to be obligatory.
Iranian officers have claimed Amini died after struggling a “heart attack” and falling right into a coma, however her household have mentioned she had no pre-existing coronary heart situation, in accordance with Emtedad information, an Iranian pro-reform media outlet. Skepticism over the officers’ account of her dying has additionally stoked the general public outcry.
CCTV footage launched by Iran’s state media confirmed Mahsa Amini collapsing at a “re-education” heart the place she was taken by the morality police to obtain “guidance” on her apparel.
Amanpour had deliberate to probe Raisi on the Amini’s dying and the protests, in addition to the nuclear deal and Iran’s assist for Russia in Ukraine, however mentioned that she needed to stroll away.