PARIS — Pharrell Williams says everyone should be able to celebrate their joy — including Iranian youths who were arrested for posting an Internet video of them dancing to his song “Happy.”

Some in Iran see the video as promoting the spread of Western culture. Iranian laws ban women from dancing in public or appearing outside with their heads uncovered.

Williams says he has “the utmost respect for people’s religious views” and doesn’t know much about Iranian law.

But he added: “The present is a gift, and if you just want to celebrate your happiness, you should be allowed to do that.”

Iranian Pharrell Williams fans dance in their rendition of the singer's hit song, 'Happy.' (photo credit: screenshot via YouTube)

Iranian Pharrell Williams fans dance in their rendition of the singer’s hit song, ‘Happy.’ (photo credit: screenshot via YouTube)

Speaking at an exhibit opening in Paris on Monday, he said, “They are just dancing.”

Fans have posted similar “Happy” videos from around the world, showing people dancing down streets.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.