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CNN journalist says she refused to interview Iran's president after headscarf demand

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Posted at 11:12 AM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 16:22:21-04

CNN's Christiane Amanpour says she pulled out an interview with Iran's president after he demanded she wear a headscarf.

Amanpour said that 40 minutes after her interview with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was supposed to begin, his aide asked if she would wear a headscarf.

"I politely declined," Amanpour tweeted. "We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding headscarves. I pointed out that no previous Iranian president has required this when I have interviewed them outside Iran."

Amanpour said she was told the interview would not happen if she didn't wear a headscarf out of "a matter of respect."

The journalist said she wouldn't agree to the "unprecedented and unexpected condition."

Amanpour said she and her team walked away and the interview never took place.

The journalist said she had planned to ask Raisi about the protests sweeping Iran, following the death of a woman in police custody.

Mahsa Amini, 22, was detained by the so-called morality police for wearing an Islamic headscarf too loosely. Police said she died of a heart attack and was not abused.