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Six young Iranians were reportedly arrested after they appeared in a video set to the Pharrell Williams hit “Happy.” While it should come as no surprise that they earned the support of the singer himself, it is shocking to see that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may have also shown support for them.
The video appeared on YouTube and shows six Iranians dancing around Tehran to “Happy.” It was made about a month ago and police tracked them down to arrest them.
Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia said that the men and women made an “obscene video clip that offended the public morals and was released in cyberspace,” the Iranian Student News Agency reported Wednesday, according to CNN.
However, Rouhani may have a different opinion. In a tweet, Rohani wrote “#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy.” That appears to be a quote from a statement he made last summer, based on a date included with the tweet.
"#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy." 29/6/2013
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) May 21, 2014
Williams shared a link to an article about the arrests on his Facebook page, writing, “It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.”
The arrests are in sharp contrast to Rouhani’s recent statements about Internet freedoms. Last week, he tweeted, “#Cyberspace should be seen as opportunity: facilitating two-way communication, increasing efficiency & creating jobs.”
The original posting of the video has earned nearly 140,000 views on YouTube.