In a mall in the city of Arak, in Iran, a man asked a young woman to marry him as they stood within a heart outlined on the floor with flowers. Yes, she replied. And onlookers cheered them on. So far, so good.
What happened next, according to the BBC, was that the police took them into custody, saying they had violated Islamic principles.
Public displays of affection and mingling among opposite genders is frowned upon in Iran and are thought to be the influence of Western culture.
According to Mahmoud Khalaji, the deputy police commander of Markazi province, the couple was taken into custody following the “public’s demand”. The semi-official Fars news agency, meanwhile, called the public proposal “shameful” and said it could encourage “immorality.”
The Associated Press quoted lawyer Isa Amini, head of the Tehran Bar Association, as saying the couple did not do anything wrong and the grounds for their arrest were unclear. They were later released on bail.