Young Iranians Arrested for Being Too ‘Happy in Tehran’

JUST days after Iran’s president denounced Internet censorship as “cowardly,” six young Iranians were arrested and forced to repent on state television for the grievous offense of proclaiming themselves to be “Happy in Tehran,” in a homemade music video they posted on YouTube last month.

By uploading their video, recorded on an iPhone and promoted on Facebook and Instagram, the group was taking part in a global online phenomenon, which has resulted, so far, in hundreds of cover versions of the Pharrell Williams song “Happy” recorded in more than 140 countries.

“Happy in Tehran” was viewed more than 165,000 times on YouTube before it attracted the attention of the police and was made private.

In a speech over the weekend, President Hassan Rouhani argued that Iran should embrace the Internet rather than view it as a threat, Reuters reported. His remarks were also summarized on a Twitter account updated by his aides.

The arrest of the young dancers, and their televised public humiliation, angered Iranians at home and abroad, and seemed to support President Rouhani’s case that such crackdowns served only to make the Islamic Republic of Iran look weak in the culture war being waged online.

During their appearance on state television, the six said that they had no idea the footage would be broadcast. The report also included a warning from Tehran’s police chief to the youth of Iran not to be seduced by the filmmakers behind viral videos. The officer, who referred to the exuberant video as “a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity,” also claimed that it had taken the authorities only a matter of hours to identify and arrest the participants, even though the video was uploaded a month ago.

The arrest of the young people came after the dancers had shared links to reports on their video in Western publications including The Huffington Post and Le Monde.

In an interview with the news site IranWire last month, one of the dancers said that the women in the video had “covered our hair with wigs” in an attempt to conform to Islamic dress codes. She also said that the aim of the participants was in part promotional, “to tell the world that Iran is a better place than what they think it is.”

Here is the video that offended the thought police.


29 thoughts on “Young Iranians Arrested for Being Too ‘Happy in Tehran’

  1. Anywhere, anytime,any-how, coppers are misbred mongrels whose job it is to suppress and control EVERYbody.
    A hungry hyena wouldn’t eat one, in case it caught Mad Cop Disease.

    Why DO all you citizens go on accepting ~ and even co-operating ~ with them.
    …….and pay your taxes to support them?


  2. Hey guys,

    I’m not sure if Dab’s would approve of me saying this, but he telephoned me up yesterday to let me know that what he wrote was in jest. He was making fun of my comment; that’s all, and It wasn’t meant to be a personal attack. And that’s good enough for me.

    Thanks Dabs. I really appreciated the call.

    And thanks Bryan for caring so much for us. Love you, you know…..both of you.


  3. There is a saying that contains an important insight, says Rick Joyner:

    “In Jerusalem, Christianity became a religion. In Greece, it became a philosophy. In Rome, it became an institution. In Britain, it became a tradition, and in America, it became an enterprise.”

    He has high hopes for Asia though.

    “For one thing, it will be a filter that removes many of the impurities added to Christianity by other cultures that have influenced it. They will do an even better job of holding to the good and removing the bad. We can expect to start hearing two great questions from Asia:

    “What is the pure gospel?”

    “What is the purest expression of Christianity?”

    Then we will see a relentless pursuit of these.”

    Praise God! Bless them Lord.


      • Then again, when stories like this surface, it gives the impression that there is still quite a prevalent element of people with a very controlling, misogynistic, violent attitude.

        “Iranian court is asked to order the public flogging of award-winning actress Leila Hatami for greeting Cannes festival president with a kiss”

        “Hizbullah Students, a group of university students with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard yesterday filed a complaint with Iran’s judiciary for the prosecution of the film star who starred in the Oscar-winning, A Separation.

        Miss Hatami was condemned by Islamic Republic officials for kissing Gilles Jacob, the President of Cannes Festival, while attending the event as a member of the jury.

        Mr Jacob tried to play down the incident, describing it as “a usual custom in the West” after it was condemned as an insult to Iranian womanhood.

        “I kissed Mrs Hatami on the cheek,” Mr Jacob said. “At that moment, for me she represented all Iranian cinema, then she became herself again.” “


  4. Actually, Dom, the mainstream media goes very soft on Islam.
    When the British soldier was butchered on a London street, initial video footage showed his assassin quoting the Koran in support of his actions. This was then immediately deleted and all subsequent footage made no mention of it, leading to considerable questioning in the press as to the possible motives, when they had already been clearly stated right at the start before the TV cameras.
    Why do you think this was? In case people might think that the Koran could encourage the butchering of infidels?
    And, doesn’t it?
    Goodness, we can’t have people thinking that. Let’s just pretend it doesn’t happen and maybe it will all go away.
    But it won’t, will it? N.B future news items.
    (cue ad hominem response)


  5. Incorporate some of these ideas, such as more small movements,
    into the rest of your day for best results. Washing your
    vehicle requires stooping, a lot of walking,
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