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Christiane Amanpour's refusal to wear headscarf sees Iran President cancelling interview

Veteran CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour. [Patrick McMullan via Getty Images]

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has cancelled an interview in New York with veteran CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour after she refused to wear a headscarf at his request.

Taking to her Twitter page, Amanpour said she’d scheduled an interview with Raisi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The interview was to be anchored on various topics, including the recent protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, 22 who was arrested and beaten by “morality police” for violating headscarf laws.

“This was going to be President Raisi’s first ever interview on US soil, during his visit to New York for UNGA. After weeks of planning and eight hours of setting up translation equipment, lights and cameras, we were ready. But no sign of President Raisi,” Amanpour tweeted on Thursday, September 22.

Iran's state news agency did not elaborate on the reason for the sudden cancelation, but blamed Amanpour "because of refusing protocol."

The protocol, it said, "is being determined by the guest”.

“Forty (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 month of Muharram and Safar,” the CNN Journalist said.

Amanpour, whose father is an Iranian, went on to explain that she politely declined, stating that they were in New York, where there’s no law or tradition regarding headscarves.

In the past, she had conducted several interviews with former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the United States and did not wear a headscarf, she said.