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
This was going to be President Raisi’s first ever interview on US soil, during his visit to NY 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. 2/7
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 months of Muharram and Safar. 3/7
I politely declined. 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. 4/7
The aide made it clear that the interview would not happen if I did not wear a headscarf. He said it was “a matter of respect,” and referred to “the situation in Iran” - alluding to the protests sweeping the country. 5/7
Again, I said that I couldn’t agree to this unprecedented and unexpected condition. 6/7
And so we walked away. The interview didn’t happen. As protests continue in Iran and people are being killed, it would have been an important moment to speak with President Raisi. 7/7

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More from @amanpour

May 19
The Taliban have ordered female news presenters to cover their faces. We visited @TOLOnews this morning, as the newsroom worriedly discussed this new Taliban edict, and whether to keep going at all. 🧵 1/9
Station director Khpolwak Sapai considered just shutting down and leaving – but then decided against it. @TOLOnews has many female journalists, and “we will leave the last decision to them,” he says. 2/9
Khatera tells us she is so stressed, she couldn’t present her program properly today. “Even if we appear with the burqa, maybe they will say that women’s voices are forbidden,” she says. “They want women to be removed from the screen. They are afraid of an educated woman.” 3/10
Read 9 tweets
May 18
This morning, we visited a Kabul fashion studio turned alternative education facility. It’s operated behind closed doors ever since the Taliban stopped girls attending public high school. The hope is to help girls who are prevented from going to school to learn a vocation. 🧵 1/9 Image
17 year old Rokhsar wanted to be a doctor. Now she’s training as a dressmaker. “We are feeling very bad,” she tells me. “Girls are not able to go to school, staying home, doing nothing.” She hopes at least as a dressmaker, she can earn money to support herself and her family. 2/9 Image
Neda wanted to be a professional soccer player. But now, she says, “it’s a dark future, because we are kept away from our schools.” 3/9 Image
Read 9 tweets
Mar 10
President Zelensky made this VERY important statement this week, via @ABC: "Regarding NATO, I have cooled down regarding this question a long time ago, after we understood that NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine..."

@ABC "… The alliance is afraid of controversial things and confrontation with Russia."

Zelensky added: "I'm talking about security guarantees…"

@ABC "… I think that items regarding temporary occupied territories & unrecognized republics that have not been recognized by anyone but Russia, these pseudo-republics, but we can discuss and find a compromise on how these territories will live on."

Read 5 tweets
Sep 15, 2020
.@melindagates: “After 20 years of gains on extreme poverty, we now have another over 35 million people dropping backwards into extreme poverty, which means they live on less than $1.90 a day. That is unbelievable… We’re going to have a lot of building back to do – a lot.”
“It’s going to take us probably decades – probably one decade, and in some areas two, to regain back” what has been lost due to coronavirus, says @melindagates.
.@melindagates: “There is good modeling that says if [the first set of vaccine doses] only go to rich world countries, you're going to have twice as much death around the world. So the U.S. needs to be at that table, and it's not right now, and that is a tragedy for everybody.”
Read 4 tweets
Dec 2, 2019
When investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered by car bomb in 2017, it was a shocking attack on freedom of the press and a heartbreaking loss for her family.

Now we may be getting that bit closer to bringing those responsible to justice.
Six months after Daphne was killed, I spoke with her sons, Matthew and Paul. They swore they would stop at nothing to bring those responsible to justice:…
Now, Maltese PM Joseph Muscat has announced he will resign, after the investigation into the murder appeared to implicate government officials.

When I spoke to him the day after Daphne's murder, he told me there would be "no impunity" for her killer.…
Read 4 tweets
Aug 2, 2019
THREAD: Just two weeks ago, I spoke with @HurdOnTheHill.

On Thursday, he announced he wouldn't run for re-election.

On July 15, he told me: "I go into communities that most Republicans don't show up in order to take a conservative message."
@HurdOnTheHill 2/ I read Hurd a quote from Joe Straus, the Republican former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Straus said: “I think he is Exhibit A in Texas for what the future of the Republican Party needs to be.”
@HurdOnTheHill 3/ "What I like to say, I'm the face of the future Republican Party," Hurd told me just two weeks ago.
Read 6 tweets

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