Tehran is a 2020 Israeli drama series created by Moshe Zonder, who wrote for Fauda, for the Israeli channel Kan 11. Apple TV+ is responsible for streaming the show online outside of Israel. Cineflix is in charge of distribution rights. Niv Sultan is the leading star with a cast of actors/actresses of Israeli and Iranian heritage. Because of historical and current tensions and lack of diplomatic relations between Iran and Israel, the show is produced in Athens, Greece.
Tamar Rabinyan, an Israeli of Iranian heritage, is sent on a black op mission to Tehran to lead Mossad efforts in disabling Iranian anti-aircraft defenses near an Iranian nuclear reactor so that the Israeli Air Force can take it out in an airstrike without any civilian casualties/lost planes.
However, things go wrong after she changes places with a local electric company employee named Zhila Gorbanifar. Her boss thinks that Tamar is Zhila and tries to rape her, only to be killed in self-defense. Tamar is forced to hide from the notorious Iranian Revolutionary Guards led by Faraz Kamali while she encounters and makes friends with pro-democracy activists in Iran.
On January 26, 2021, the show will see a second season.
The official Hebrew website is here.
The series contains examples of:
- Accidental Murder: Tamar, when disguised as Zhila, fends off her (Zhila's) boss during a rape attempt, accidentally killing him.
- Action Girl: Tamar is highly trained in combat, and displays her skills often in the series.
- Adult Fear:
- The Iranian man Tamar spoke to in "Emergency Landing in Tehran" is worried about his wife Zhila after she had insisted to help Tamar do the op by swapping places at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport. He's worried that she'll never come back even after the op is over.
- Faraz later suffers the same thing when his wife is kidnapped by Mossad.
- Tamar later gets it too when her father is kidnapped.
- Attempted Rape: Zhila's boss attempts to rape Tamar (who's disguised as her). It ends poorly for him.
- Badass Israeli: All of the Mossad agents are highly competent, skilled agents, including the protagonist Tamar.
- Casting Gag: Shaun Toub plays Faraz Kamali, a servant of Iran's Islamic regime who is the antagonist to Tamar, an Israeli Jew of Iranian descent. Toub is himself of Iranian Jewish descent, and left Iran like most did (including Tamar's family).
- Daddy's Girl: Tamar is clearly very close with her father as seen from their brief interactions. The only time she breaks down is when he's kidnapped, despite going through a whole ton of hardship during the first season.
- Dirty Cop: A couple Iranian cops are bribed to let a car's passengers go without searching them.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Faraz is a brutal, devoted agent of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and also utterly dedicated to his wife, who he loves dearly, though his duty comes first.
- Fake Kill Scare: Faraz torments Masoud by seeming like he's about to shoot him, only it's empty.
- I Have Your Wife: Faraz frequently threatens people's relatives who he has in custody or can get to for cooperation from them. Later he suffers this himself when his wife is kidnapped by Mossad, and then inflicts it on Tamar to get her back by kidnapping her father.
- Missing Mom: Tamar's mother died of cancer, and it was a slow, painful death.
- The Mole: Yael turns out to be a double agent in service to the Iranians.
- Oh, Crap!: The Israeli couple flying from India to Jordan in "Emergency Landing in Tehran" when they find out that they've made a landing in Iran. They are rightfully worried as Iran and Israel haven't had diplomatic relations since 1979. After Faraz was able to get a transcript of the couple translated to Persian from Hebrew (thanks to a hidden camera) to get a lead on Tamar's presence, he's ordered to let them go due to Tehran's fears of creating an international incident since two Israelis detained in Tehran, even with no ambassadors, is not a good thing.
- Prisoner Exchange: Mossad arranges to have one for Masoud by kidnapping Faraz's wife. However, it falls apart.
- Ripped from the Headlines: Mossad's operation to disable Iranian anti-aircraft defenses for a potential Israeli air strike is (likely) inspired by the Israeli Air Force's air strike operation when they bombed the incomplete Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.
- Secret Test of Character: Milad's drug dealer friends test Tamar by having a couple pretend they're undercover cops. She passes by not ratting anyone out when "arrested" and fighting them off.
- Spotting the Thread: Kamali was seen reviewing surveillance tapes of the women's restroom and noted that the Jordanian Airline stewardess (who happens to be Zhila) uses her right hand. He finds out that the switch was made since Tamar was seen in the stewardess uniform using her left hand.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Tamar dresses up as a male security guard to sneak into an electrical station in the last episode of Season 1, complete with a fake mustache.
- The Theocracy: Iran is one, and it overshadows much of social life there, with Iranian dissidents against religious restrictions imposed upon them which the Islamic Revolutionary Guards enforce. Many of the Iranian expats make it clear it's what they hate about Iran, while loving the country itself (and the people).
- Villainous Rescue: Faraz inadvertently saves Tamar from Yael when she's about to shoot her.
- Would Hit a Girl: Faraz shows no compunction at hitting women in his custody, and the Basij men don't spare Tamar either.