CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour is receiving heaps of praise online after cancelling an interview with Iran’s president, who demanded she wear a headscarf.
In a thread on Twitter, Amanpour explained that in the midst of protests sweeping Iran, following the death of a woman arrested by the country’s “morality police,” she had plans to interview President Ebrahim Raisi, who is in New York for a UN general assembly. When an aide informed Amanpour that the president wanted her to wear a headscarf for the interview, she declined.
“We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding headscarves,” she wrote. “I pointed out that no previous Iranian president has required this when I have interviewed them outside Iran.”
The aide informed her that wearing a headscarf was a “matter of respect,” and alluded to the situation in Iran — where people are protesting the death of a woman who was detained for breaking hijab laws. Amanpour says she walked away from the interview.
Protests are sweeping Iran & women are burning their hijabs after the death last week of Mahsa Amini, following her arrest by the “morality police”. Human rights groups say at least 8 have been killed. Last night, I planned to ask President Raisi about all this and much more. 1/7
— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) September 22, 2022
Online, the veteran journalist received a flood of support from followers.
Every pro-democracy and pro-freedom Muslim, including the one writing this tweet, is celebrating Christiane Amanpour's refusal to wear a head covering to interview Iran's Raisi. pic.twitter.com/0ghVXy3uIc
— Kareem Rifai 🌐 (@KareemRifai) September 22, 2022
Read this thread if you want to understand just how fucked up the Iranian regime is. Raisi wanted to impose a religious dress code upon Amanpour as a precondition for an interview... in New York. https://t.co/FdZrMGkNf2
— İyad el-Baghdadi | إياد البغدادي (@iyad_elbaghdadi) September 22, 2022
His demand was unnecessary and a leeway to denying the interview which would have given the world the truth about the Iranian crises. Every where, leaders continued to treat their people with disrespect and disregards. Humanity is nothing to death.
— Sholaye4Christ3 (@OmatEdema) September 22, 2022
Apart from anything else, like don't try to dictate what women wear in your presence, agreeing to wear the hijab for the interview would have been used by the Iranian dictatorship as a sign that Ms Amanpour agreed with their repressive policies.
— Marika Cobbold (@Marikacobbold) September 22, 2022
Thank you Ms. Amanpour.
Standing our ground will move women forward. (Mixed metaphor I know but it is true. ) https://t.co/EOQsLJVQGq
— Kathryn Orr (@kcorr54) September 22, 2022
Bravo, Christiane @Amanpour, for refusing the Iranian regime’s insane demand that you put on a Hijab in New York City as a condition to interview their president, and for your principled solidarity with the women of Iran now being crushed by the regime and their morality police. https://t.co/H3lGwllvvo
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) September 22, 2022
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) September 22, 2022
— Aayush Sharma 🔜 LFF (@JournoAayu) September 22, 2022
— Welshman (@Welshmen) September 22, 2022
BRAVO @amanpour for your conviction and courage 👏 The misogyny and bullying of women has to be rejected you are free to be a woman journalist and not be told by dictators how to dress the president of #iran #Raisi has no respect for women. https://t.co/gxsaXi9bfh
— Anne Kmetyko (@AnneKmetyko) September 22, 2022
Good for you. No doubt if, in his mind, he was going to be subjected to indignity of being questioned by a woman in the midst of protests by Iranian women, he wanted you to visually validate the expected submission of the women in their country.
— Tricia (@TriciaTweets70) September 22, 2022
While speaking about the incident on air, Amanpour described the situation as “very unsettling.”
“I have never been asked by any Iranian President, and I have interviewed every single one of them since 1995, either inside or outside Iran — never been asked to wear a headscarf.”