By Sahar Akbarzai, Shirin Faqiri, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Richard Roth, CNN
(CNN) — A journalist was attacked on Wednesday evening in New York City by an official who was part of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s camp, a news channel has alleged.
Iran International correspondent Kian Amani was filming outside the Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza Hotel and reporting on Raisi’s “entourage” leaving when the incident happened, the Iran International news channel said in a statement Thursday.
“The entourage of Iran’s president attacked, harassed and insulted Iran International journalists covering Ebrahim Raisi’s stay in New York,” Iran International alleged.
Video taken by Amani and posted by the channel shows the Iranian official walking around the barrier for media with Amani telling someone off-camera, “he’s coming.”
As the official gets close to Amani, he asks him in Farsi, “What are you taking this for?”
Amani can then be heard saying, “Don’t touch me” in Farsi and “I’m a journalist” in English while the official repeatedly asks for his credentials in Farsi.
The official appears to begin to scuffle with Amani. A second angle is also shown, with the official grabbing at the phone and a woman and two men trying to intervene.
The woman says, “Don’t touch him,” and the men, who Iran International says were security guards, push the official away from Amani and back behind the barrier.
CNN has reached out to the Iranian Foreign Ministry for comment, but it has yet to respond.
The State Department’s deputy special envoy for Iran, Abram Paley, said, “Such behavior is unacceptable,” in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, Wednesday afternoon.
“We condemn the apparent harassment and intimidation of several journalists on US soil,” Paley added.
Iran International is a Persian-language news channel that broadcasts from Washington, D.C. The channel has become one of the go-to sources for many Persian speakers looking for news on anti-government protests in Iran.
It has been at the forefront of covering the demonstrations, getting breaking news, and exclusive footage of the events on the ground. Its X account in Farsi has 1.6 million followers, and nearly 160,000 followers on its English account.
Founded in 2017, Iran International has previously come under scrutiny by the Iranian government. Some say it is due to their coverage of anti-Iran government protests in Iran.
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