Fareed speaks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the controversy over a video created for the song “Happy.” Watch the full interview this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
You had six Iranians, young Iranians, who made this video of the song “Happy.” They’ve been sentenced to lashes, which have been commuted. They’ve been forced to recant on television. Why make them go through this punishment for making a harmless video about a song?
We do have a multitude of problems in the region and the world at large today than to speak about the prosecution of certain individuals. But, be that as it may, I as the president of Iran have been sworn and put there by the will of the people to protect the constitution. If the constitution is ever violated, it is my legal responsibility to take the appropriate steps and implement appropriate actions.
I don’t know the specifics of the case you are referring to, but perhaps in a country, a certain – in any country – a certain individual can be detained or questioned or put on trial. If it is done so, if this is done within the legal framework and if that individual has broken the law, then they must be prosecuted through the legal channels properly. If they haven’t broken the law, then it is a moot point.
You haven’t seen the video. It’s completely harmless.