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Go, Iran!

I think Iran’s participation in the World Cup is making the country’s rulers a little nervous.

First the authorities banned public gatherings (in cafes, restaurants and elsewhere) to watch the matches (although it seems that ban is being ignored).

Then a YouTube video appeared featuring Iranian fans at the World Cup expressing forbidden (i.e., friendly) feelings toward Israel.

Now a video featuring an anthem by a London-based band supporting the Iranian team, with performers both inside and outside Iran, has landed three Iranians in jail.

A province police chief, Rahmatollah Taheri, said a videographer and two participants had been arrested in Shahroud in northern Iran because of the “vulgar” film.

No specific crime was reported but some women in the film appear without the mandatory hijab covering their heads.

And from what I can tell, there’s a disturbing absence of anti-Zionism.

Shades of the “Happy” video.

I haven’t been paying much attention to the World Cup. But with the likelihood that a victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina tomorrow will set off unsanctioned, mixed-gender celebrations throughout Iran, I will (sorry, Suada) be rooting for the Iranians– unlike the mullahs, I expect.

Update: Final score: Bosnia-Herzegovina 3, Iran 1. Oh, well.