Christiane Amanpour says she wouldn’t quilt her head, so Iran’s president walked on her

Christiane Amanpour was once all set to interview Iran’s president in New York on Wednesday when Iranian officers stepped in with a last-minute situation: The CNN host must put on a head masking, in deference to Iranian customized and an Islamic non secular ritual.

Amanpour mentioned she refused — at which level aides to president Ebrahim Raisi canceled the interview, environment off an incident that underscored tensions over girls’s rights in Iran.

“I refused to fold or cave to allow [the Iranians] to impose the rules in their land on our land,” Amanpour informed The Washington Publish on Thursday. She added, “I stood up for myself as a journalist.”

Iranian officers didn’t straight away reply to a request for remark.

The incident comes as protests happen throughout Iran over Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old lady who died whilst in police custody final week. Amini was once arrested in Tehran through Iran’s “morality police” over her public apparel. Her circle of relatives has disputed Iranian officers’ claims that she died of center failure.

In protest, demonstrators have burned hijabs and different such coverings, and ladies have publicly minimize their hair in defiance of the rustic’s management. Safety forces making an attempt to quell the protests have killed a minimum of 8 other people, consistent with the human rights staff Amnesty Global.

In interviews and a Twitter thread, Amanpour mentioned she had already sat all the way down to interview Raisi on the United Countries on Wednesday — the president was once on the town for a gathering of the U.N.’s basic meeting — when officers insisted that she quilt her hair. They cited the arrival of Muharram, a communal mourning season noticed essentially through Shiite Muslims.

However Amanpour recommended that Raisi didn’t need to be noticed being interviewed through an exposed lady at a time when protests over head coverings are raging in Iran. She mentioned she had informed Iranian officers previously that she supposed to invite concerning the protests.

It’s rarely the primary time a journalist has wrestled with cloth cabinet choices when reporting on an Islamic nation the place girls are required to hide up, akin to Iran. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) chided CNN’s Clarissa Ward, inaccurately, for dressed in a “obligatory burka” when she reported from Kabul final 12 months. (Ward in fact wore a black head masking.)

And Lesley Stahl wore a grey head masking for her “60 Mins” interview with Raisi on the presidential compound in Tehran final week, earlier than the Amini protests started. In her record, which aired Sunday, Stahl mentioned Iranian officers informed her “tips on how to get dressed, no longer to sit down earlier than he did and to not interrupt him.”

However Amanpour famous a key distinction: Stahl have been visiting Iran and dressing consistent with the native customized. Amanpour mentioned she does that herself when she is within the nation — however by no means out of doors of it.

“I wasn’t pulling a stunt,” she informed The Publish. “It was once a call I needed to make at the spot.”

In a commentary, CNN mentioned it “absolutely supported the verdict of Christiane and her group to with politeness decline the interview with President Raisi.”

Amanpour known as the Iranians’ movements in regards to the canceled interview “very unsettling” in an interview on CNN on Thursday morning.

She additionally posted a photograph of herself on Twitter, appearing her in a white swimsuit and sitting throughout from an empty chair, her hair exposed. “And so we walked away.” she wrote. “The interview didn’t occur. As protests proceed in Iran and individuals are being killed, it could were a very powerful second to talk with President Raisi.”

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