May 21st, 2014
12:38 PM ET

Six Iranians Arrested for Making Fan Video of Pharrell Williams' 'Happy'

Apparently, dancing to a song about happiness in Iran can get you arrested.

Six Iranians are behind bars after they appeared in a fan video set to Pharrell Williams' "Happy," the American hit song that has sold millions of downloads worldwide.

Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia ordered the arrests of the three men and three women because they helped make an "obscene video clip that offended the public morals and was released in cyberspace," the Iranian Students' News Agency reported Wednesday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may think differently - if a post on his Twitter account is any indication.

"#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy," the post read in what appears to be a restatement of a Rouhani comment from 2013, based on a date accompanying the tweet.

Pharrell denounced the arrests.

"It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness," the Grammy Award winner said on his Facebook page.

Just like in the singer's original video, the Iranian fan version features a montage of men and women dancing to the song in a variety of settings.

Reihane Taravati, a woman who said she helped make the fan project, gushed over the reaction to the video in the days before the Tuesday arrests.

"178K VIEWS thank you," she wrote on her Facebook page last week.

She also posted a picture of people featured in the video on Instagram.

"People of Tehran are happy! Watch and Share Our Happiness!," Taravati wrote. "Let the world hear us! we are happy and we deserve to be!"

Taravati's last Facebook post came Sunday.

The arrests come amid growing support on Facebook for an unrelated project featuring photographs submitted by women who appear without the country's legally required head scarves.

The page, created May 3, now has 331,000 likes.

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