Christiane Amanpour’s Interview with Iranian President Canceled After She Declined to Wear Headscarf

By Mark Mwachiro 

This week world leaders are gathering in New York for the 77th United Nations General Assembly.

This sort of clustering presents a golden opportunity for members of the media to interview hard-to-get subjects.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was one of those hard-to-get subjects—and CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour was set to interview him while he was in Manhattan, a first on US soil.


A wave of protests has hit Iran’s capital Tehran this week after the death of Masha Amin, 22, who was arrested for wearing “unsuitable attire.”

According to a tweet thread Amanpour posted this morning, she said she wanted to talk to him about this and much more.

Unfortunately, the interview did not happen because the Iranian president wanted Amanpour to wear a headscarf during the interview.

Amanpour declined to wear the headscarf saying, “We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding headscarves.”

Shortly after, the Iranian president’s aide said the interview would not proceed.

Amanpour, appearing on CNN’s New Day this morning, said with regards to wearing the headscarf, “I politely declined on behalf of myself, CNN and female journalists everywhere, because it is not a requirement.”

This past Sunday, 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl interviewed President Raisi for the show’s season premiere. The interview, which was President Raisi’s first with a western reporter, shows Stahl wearing a headscarf, a customary practice for female journalists working within the country.