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Dramatic strike

Israeli thriller ‘Tehran’ wins best drama at International Emmy Awards

Streaming on Apple TV+, show beats out Indian, Chilean and British competitors for Israel’s third-ever win; Roy Nik misses out on best actor for role in ‘Normali’

Amy Spiro is a reporter and writer with The Times of Israel.

Tehran cast and crew pose during the 49th International Emmy Awards on November 22, 2021 in New York City.   (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images/AFP)
Tehran cast and crew pose during the 49th International Emmy Awards on November 22, 2021 in New York City. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images/AFP)

“Tehran” won Best Drama Series on Monday at the prestigious 2021 International Emmy Awards.

The Israeli thriller, produced by the Kan public broadcaster and picked up globally by Apple TV+, beat out Indian series “Aarya,” the Chilean show “El Presidente” and the British program “There She Goes” in the best drama category.

“‘Tehran’ is not only an espionage series, it’s also about understanding the human behind your enemy,” said executive producer Dana Eden in her acceptance speech at the awards ceremony in New York.

She noted that the cast and crew of the show includes Israelis and Iranians and “we found out that we have a lot in common. I think it gives a hope for the future, and I hope that we can walk together — the Iranians and the Israelis — in Jerusalem, and in Tehran, as friends and not as enemies.”

The show, which first aired in Israel last June and premiered on Apple TV last September, tells the story of a young Mossad agent deep undercover in Tehran, on a mission to help pave the way for an IDF airstrike on an Iranian nuclear reactor.

The show, which gained critical acclaim both inside and outside Israel, stars Niv Sultan as Tamar, the young Mossad agent, alongside Navid Negahban, Menashe Noy and Shaun Toub. It was written and created by Moshe Zonder, Dana Eden and Maor Kohn.

The second season of the series is currently being filmed in Athens, where the Oscar-nominated actress Glenn Close has joined the show.

Israel had previously only ever won two International Emmy Awards: best comedy in 2018 for the series “Nevsu” and best comedy in 2010 for the show “Ramzor.”

Separately, Israeli actor Roy Nik, who was nominated for best actor for his role in the Israeli TV series “Normali,” lost out to David Tennant in the British program “Des.”

Other nominees were Nawazuddin Siddique in the Indian series “Serious Men” and Christian Tappán in the Colombian show “El Robo del Siglo.”

The show, which premiered on HOT last year, features Nik as lead character Noam, a struggling writer.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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