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Iranian president declines interview after reporter refuses to wear head scarf

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi declined to go through with a scheduled interview for CNN when reporter Christine Amanpour refused to wear a hijab for the interview, which took place in New York City.

The interview, according to CNN, had been scheduled for some time prior to the incident on Wednesday. The Iranian president’s staff called Amanpour ahead of the interview, which Raisi was running late for, and told her he “suggested” she wear a hijab for the interview.

Amanpour says she “politely declined” to wear a head covering, and Raisi’s staff told her the interview would not happen without one.

Amanpour is a seasoned journalist, who has won multiple awards for her work over the years, and grew up in Tehran. She typically dons a hijab when reporting on Iranian soil, but did not feel she should have to wear one for an interview in the United States.

“I very politely declined on behalf of myself and CNN, and female journalists everywhere because it is not a requirement,” she said on New Day. “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 headscarf,”

The interview was scheduled in the midst of major uprisings in Iran after a woman, 22-year old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the Iranian government’s Guidance Patrol for wearing her hijab incorrectly died while in custody. Her death sparked fiery protests in the streets that saw Iranian women cutting off their hair and burning their hijabs.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has fought back against the crowds, and the protests have reportedly already killed 41 people in cities across the country.

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