Israeli Spy Thriller 'Tehran' Wins International Emmy for Best Drama

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The main protagonist Tamar Rabinyan, played by actress Niv Sultan, in the new Kan Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation thriller television series "Tehran," June 2020
Niv Sultan as Tamar Rabinyan, in "Tehran." Graced with the ability to kill and lie and escape from pursuers, while avoiding the clichés of both Wonder Woman and Rambo.Credit: "Tehran"/Kan Public Broadcaster Channel 11

The Israeli television series "Tehran" took the Best Drama Series award at the 49th International Emmy Awards on Tuesday. 

The awards, which were hosted this year by "Insecure" star Yvonne Orji, recognize non-English-language television programs as well as those originally aired outside the United States.

"Tehran," originally broadcast on Kan in Israel and on Apple TV+ internationally, competed against India's "Araya," Chile's "El Presidente" and the United Kingdom's "There She Goes."

"Tehran" star Roy Nik was also nominated for Best Actor, but lost to David Tennant, who played serial killer Dennis Nilsen in "Des."  

The creators of "Tehran" accepted the award, which was presented by actor Brian Cox of "Succession." The series' co-creator and executive producer Dana Eden said in her acceptance speech that the prize represents an enormous honor.

The show, she said, "'is not only an espionage series. It's also about understanding the human behind your enemy, and we're doing it every day on our set."

The cast and crew, who are now filming a second season, "work with Iranian actors from all over the world, Iranian refugees that just fled the current regime…we work in collaboration, through love, and we actually found out that we have a lot in common," she said. "I think it gives a lot of hope for the future, and I hope that we can walk together, the Iranians and Israelis, in Jerusalem and in Tehran, as friends and not as enemies."  

The show tells the story of a Mossad agent (portrayed by actress Niv Sultan) who goes undercover in Iran to sabotage the country’s nuclear facilities, and unexpectedly falls in love with a young Iranian man. 

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