Apple TV Plus’ ‘Tehran’ sees Israelis and Iranians working side by side

Season 2 of a spy thriller Tehran is on Apple TV Plus on May 6, with two episodes available. Mossad hacker agent Tamar (Niv Sultan) infiltrates Tehran under a false identity to help destroy Iran’s nuclear reactor. Things don’t go as planned.

Dana Eden created the show with Moshe Zander and Maor Kohn. Eden was surprised to see Tehran take off like it did after the first season was released in fall 2020. She called it “a little Israeli production that millions of people watched around the world.”

Including in Iran. Some Iranian viewers shared their disgust, but the majority liked it, Eden said. “A lot of Iranians watched the show in Iran and loved it,” she said. “They said it looked authentic and they thought they weren’t stereotypical.”

There are eight episodes, with new ones every Friday through June 17.

The spy thriller couldn’t shoot in Iran, but the producers found their version from Tehran to Athens, of all places. Eden was vacationing there and called co-creator and director Daniel Syrkin. “I found Tehran,” he said, sharing Eden’s phone call, “and it’s in Athens!”

Israeli construction companies built much of Tehran, he said, and also did a lot of work in Athens, giving the cities a similar feel in some places. Still, building their version from Tehran to Athens was “a huge task,” according to Syrkin.

Glenn Close is in the cast for the second season. Eden said Close was a fan of the show and was eager to participate, even if it meant filming away from the United States and learning a little Farsi. “Glenn really pushed us for excellence in this production,” Eden said.

Playing Marjan Montazemi, Close appears near the end of the season premiere, guiding Tamar through a moment of crisis. According to The Guardian“Close adds menace to this breathtaking thriller.”

Shaun Toub, Shervin Alenabi and Arash Marandi are also part of the cast.

Syrkin said “the stakes are much higher” in season two, with Tamar undergoing a “baptism by fire”. She infiltrates Tehran’s elite society, hanging out with the offspring of Iran’s most influential citizens.

Eden is proud of the fact that many Iranians work on the show – in production, reading scripts for authenticity, helping with Farsi and working in the wardrobe department. “One of the moving things about Tehran is the fact that Israelis and Iranians are collaborating on this production together, and they realize that we are very much alike,” she said. “It brings authenticity and love to the screen.” ■

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