The president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, cancelled his interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour after she refused to wear a headscarf (hijab) while conducting the interview. The interview was scheduled to take place at the UN General Assembly in New York City.
Interestingly, this decision by the Iranian president to cancel the interview even on American soil over hijab comes at a time when Iran is seeing unprecedented protests against the forced practice of hijab in the country. In the wake of the killing of Mahsa Amini over ‘inappropriate hijab’, protests have swept through the country against the Islamic regime ruling Iran.
Sharing the news, Amanpour said that the interview was set up after weeks of planning and hours of preparations in setting up equipment. However, President Raisi did not turn up at the scheduled time, and 40 minutes later, one of his aides came up to Amanpour and explained the issue. She was asked to wear a hijab as it is the holy month of Muharram and Safar.
40 minutes after the interview had been due to start, an aide came over. The president, he said, was suggesting I wear a headscarf, because it’s the holy months of Muharram and Safar. 3/7— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) September 22, 2022
Christiane Amanpour politely declined the request and then she was told that the interview can not take place unless she wears a hijab. The interview eventually did not take place as Amanpour stuck to her guns and refused to wear a hijab.
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. 7/7 pic.twitter.com/kMFyQY99Zh— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) September 22, 2022
Protests in Iran over mandatory hijab
Iran has been seeing large-scale protests led by Iranian women ever since a young 22-year-old girl Mahsa Amini was killed by ‘morality police’ for wearing her hijab inappropriately. Iranian women have been showing their anger by cutting their hair and burning their hijab to protest against the killing of Mahsa Amini.
There have been several protests in the streets of Iran as well against the forced practice of mandatory hijab in the country. People’s anger is directed toward the ruling Islamic regime and the regressive practices that are enforced on the populace.
The death of Mahsa Amini
A 22-year-old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini, who fell into a coma after she was beaten by the ‘Morality Police’ for wearing ‘improper hijab’, died on Friday in Tehran. Iranian media reported that Amini died in hospital, quoting official sources.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mahsa Amini was declared brain dead, hours after she was arrested by the ‘Morality Police’ in Tehran for “improper hijab”, which means she had not fully covered her hair. She was arrested by the police and then beaten in the police van while being taken to a detention centre, dubbed as a ‘re-education class’ for not conforming to the country’s mandatory hijab rules.
According to the reports, the incident is said to have happened on September 13 when Amini, a native of Saghez, Iran, had travelled to Tehran for a pleasure trip. The woman was with her brother Kiarash at the entrance to the Shahid Haghani Expressway when the ‘Morality Police’ arrived and arrested Amini for a one-hour ‘re-education class’.