On January 16, 2019, IRINN TV (Iran) aired a brief interview with Abdolali Ali Askari, the Director-General of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), about the arrest of Press TV (Iran) anchor Marzieh Hashemi during her visit to the United States. Referring to Hashemi as a "prominent, famous, and revolutionary" host, Askari condemned the arrest, which he said was illegal, and he claimed that the American authorities had harassed her and forcibly removed her hijab. He said: "We think that she was arrested because she holds freedom-seeking Islamic and revolutionary beliefs, and because she supports the forefront of truth and justice." According to Press TV, Hashemi was arrested on January 13 at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri before being transferred to Washington, D.C. by the FBI. She was reportedly visiting the U.S. in order to see her family and her sick brother. Hashemi was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1959, and she moved to Iran in 2008.
Reporter: Press TV's reporter and anchor, Marzieh Hashemi, was arrested without charge in Washington under uncertain circumstances. According to Press TV's report, the American authorities mistreated Mrs. Hashemi and forcibly removed her hijab. Marzieh Hashemi traveled to the United States in order to visit her family and her sick brother. Mrs. Hashemi is to be interrogated today.
Abdolali Ali Askari: Mrs. Hashemi is Press TV's prominent, famous, and revolutionary TV host. She entered the U.S. in order to visit her family and she was arrested by the police. As mentioned, she was subject to harassment and to inhumane and violent treatment. This action is illegal and we think that she was arrested because she holds freedom-seeking Islamic and revolutionary beliefs and because she supports the forefront of truth and justice, and the forefront of the resistance. At any rate, we condemn her arrest by the American government and regime. We hope she will be released as soon as possible, so that she can return to her work. Double standards are part of the essence of the American government – an arrogant government that embraces those who stand with it and cracks down on those who do not accept its views. The outcome of all the bloodshed, and of the operating of terrorist movements in the region, is the sense and stance of the Americans.