Iran Makes Arrests for “Vulgar” Celebratory Music Video Supporting Its World Cup Team

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 23 2014 9:17 PM

Iran Makes Arrests for “Vulgar” Celebratory Music Video Supporting Its World Cup Team

iranwcvideo
The "vulgar" video.

Screenshot via Youtube

Iran’s gutsy World Cup performance against Argentina over the weekend made the nation a number of new fans around the world. The team’s unexpected showing was understandably celebrated by fans back home in Iran. The ensuing “street party,” however, “rattled authorities,” Al Jazeera reports, as “large numbers of Iranians converged on the streets, dancing on overpasses, overrunning major thoroughfares, chanting and blaring music out of cars, in an outpouring of popular celebration that prompted the authorities to send plainclothes security agents on motorbikes through the crowds to disperse them.”

On Monday, Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, reports that the Iranian government took its buzzkill duties to a whole new level, arresting two 23-year-olds for appearing in a music video supporting the Iranian team.

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“Produced by the London-based Ajam Band, the clip features contributions from Iranians in more than a dozen countries around the world, including the town of Shahroud, east of the Iranian capital Tehran," Agence France Presse reports.

So, what’s the problem? The Associated Press takes a stab:

“The video shows young people, including women not wearing the mandatory headscarf, singing and dancing in support of Iran's national team, interspersed with footage from matches. They are shown waving Iranian flags and dancing in cars, streets, homes and public parks.”
[Provincial police chief Col. Rahmatollah Taheri] called the video "vulgar" and urged the youth not to take part in such activities. The official said those arrested have been referred for possible prosecution.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.