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Viral video captures Iranian woman dancing, defying strict Islamic code

A new viral video believed to have been shot in Iran shows a woman dancing joyously atop a car and tossing aside her hijab, in the latest example of women defying the Islamic republic's strict religious code.

The video, which could not independently be verified, starts off showing the woman wearing hijab and a long black top, or manteaux, and jeans. As she continues her dancing, she removes her hijab, hearing the cheering of those watching.

The Islamic Republic of Iran enforces a strict dress code in which women must have their heads covered and wear three-quarter tops, which cover their waist and hips.

The video, like many others that have gone viral in the past, is being circulated online, as many, particularly Iranians, are celebrating the woman’s courage. But the woman in the video, who could potentially be identified from the footage, could face punishment from either the government or private enforcers of Sharia, or both.

"People are always interested in seeing the forbidden," says Iranian multimedia artist Krista Nassi, who moved to Los Angeles 10 years ago to work more freely.

"I show naked bodies and have political innuendos in a lot of my work," says Nassi, who traveled back to Iran earlier this year to showcase her work in a gallery.

Since the toppling of the Shah of Iran in 1979, the Islamic government in Iran has banned most types of popular music, co-ed dancing and Western styles of dress.

"The work I do there is completely different from what I do here," says Nassi, explaining that while the Iranian people have an appetite for these subjects and a desire to push the limits, the government strictly controls artistic content.

This has not deterred the Iranian people from seeking out the latest in clothing, shoes, hair styles, art and music, from the West and creating their own underground culture where these art is created and dispersed. In May, a group of young Iranians was arrested after videotaping themselves dancing to the infectious U.S. hit "Happy," by Pharrell Williams.

Over the last three and a half decades however, many Iranian artists, musicians and others working in creative arenas have left the country to escape government pressures.

Lisa Daftari is a Fox News contributor specializing in Middle Eastern affairs.

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