Iran “Happy” Video Arrestees out on Bail but Pharrell Cover goes Viral

Iran frees ‘Happy’ video dancers on bail (via AFP)

Six young Iranians arrested for dancing on rooftops to US singer Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” in a video that went viral on the Internet have been released on bail, reports said Wednesday. The reports were confirmed by Tehran-based fashion photographer…

Related video:

The Young Turks: “Iranians Arrested For Dancing To Pharrell’s ‘Happy'”

6 Responses

  1. What the young dancers did was brave and they should be applauded for pushing the boundaries. They knew what they were doing and its possible consequences, and still they went ahead with it. If Iran is not going to experience another violent revolution and a great deal of bloodshed, it has to learn to accommodate the wishes of its young and educated population.

    President Rouhani understands this and has called for greater openness. Referring to what Ayatollah Khamenei has called “a Western cultural onslaught”, Rouhani said this weekend in a speech: “Even if there is an onslaught, which there is, the way to face it is via modern means, not passive and cowardly methods.” He rightly asked: “Why are we so shaky? Why have we cowered in a corner, grabbing onto a shield and wooden sword, lest we take a bullet in this culture war?”

    These are fine words, but he has to match these words with bold action. Many people refer to the former reformist President Khatami’s failed attempt to reform the clerical regime and drag it out of its medieval mind-set, but times have changed. After eight years of Ahmadinejad’s failed presidency people have seen the bankruptcy of the fundamentalist mullahs and hardline politicians even more starkly than ever before.

    President Rouhani received a decisive mandate for change from the electorate, while the share of the votes of the fundamentalist candidates was in single digits. He should call their bluff and he should know that he would get the support of the majority of the youthful and educated Iranian population. The hardliners are not going to give up without a fight, but if President Rouhani does not succeed to rein them in, the fight will be bloody and destabilizing. Iranian people should help him succeed in isolating the hardliners and bring about change peacefully.

  2. Sometimes I wonder if Iranian authorities just deliberately want to be hated.

  3. farhang & saf- despite his position, President Rouhani is not all powerful. This is a consequence of the manner in which power is distributed through the various civil, religious, judicial and military organs of government. Some of these are quite relaxed about such incidents, others see them as a direct threat, and none is in full control, so an agency that feels confronted by such an incident may act on its own, without consultation.
    In any case, the ‘youthful and educated Iranian population’ is, as far as I am aware, a mainly urban entity. Less well educated youth from rural areas are generally more conservative, and this is where some entities involved in government, such as the Basij, draw their support from (IIRC, these were the elements that were used to put down unrest in the wake of the 2009 elections).

    There will be more events like this, where some section of the authorities feels the need to make an example of the transgressors, but they will increasingly be seen for what they are- a rearguard action by the conservative elements. There are many more pressing issues facing the Iranian Government.

  4. “Obama, a self-declared moderate, has long claimed to be for more social freedoms in the US. But his push has been opposed by traditionalists and ultra conservatives that hold sway in the establishment.”

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