Wednesday 27 January 2021

Foreign minister hits back at headscarf critics: ‘Should I not have gone?’

Sigrid Kaag and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Iranian Presidency Office via AP

Foreign minister Sigrid Kaag has told the Telegraaf her decision to drape a headscarf over her hair while meeting the Iranian president on Wednesday was taken for ‘business reasons’.

Kaag drew criticism from populist circles after photographs of her with a headscarf were circulated by the Iranian presidency office. In particular, anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders said Kaag had ‘betrayed all the women who want to stop wearing headscarves.’

‘No female representative would be allowed in the country without some form of simple head covering,’ Kaag told the paper. ‘Does this mean that a female minister should not go? I had far more important things to talk about: Israeli security, Libya, Yemen and Syria.’

Many young women in Iran have been protesting about the compulsory wearing of headscarves in recent months.

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