‘Tehran’, which is an eight-part spy thriller produced in one season for Israeli broadcaster Kan, revolves around a Mossad agent who enters Iran undercover in an attempt to disable the country’s air defenses so Israel can strike a reactor. She then falls in love with an Iranian man and rediscovers her Iranian roots in the city of her birth.
In the show with dialogues in Hebrew, English and Farsi, it is portrayed that Mossad not only acts aggressively under the excuse of Israel’s security and sends spies to Iran, but the goals have nothing to do with Iran's nuclear program.
Israel, as depicted by the Israeli cinema and TV director of the show Daniel Syrkin, even proceeds to murder its own long-serving loyal spies to frame Iran's Ministry of Intelligence. It also kidnaps Iranian civilians in Europe and holds them hostage to have leverage over Iranian intelligence agents. This is while Iran's Ministry of Intelligence does not do the same thing by kidnapping and holding Iranian Jews hostage.
‘Tehran’ presents Mossad as a hostage-taking organization that do not even care about lives of the family members. The last thing they can do against Iran (in their Hollywood fantasies) is to cut off Tehran's electricity. Israel is shown to be willing to power off the city of Tehran (which has no nuclear facilities) to hurt the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, leading to many people dying in hospitals.
It also reveals the pro-West and promiscuous nature of the activists targeting Iran. Protesting students are addicted, homosexuals, drug dealers or make counterfeit passports and other offenses.
The Iranian agent characters are portrayed as smart, family-oriented and charismatic. By contrast, the Israeli side and their Iranian agents come across as amateurs. The members of the IRGC are also introduced as selfless and patriotic people.
Adultery is a common issue for Israel and they use this tactic to attract new forces. It is shown in the series that achieving the goal has no moral red line.
With all that being said, now we would like to address some of the bloopers of the show.
The show begins with an opening song in Arabic, not Persian. And, when the Israeli spy enters Iran, she immediately sees a hanging scene. This all has been done to make the audience feel unsafe and intimidated to be in Iran.
The same portable charity box is seen to be located in different scenes of the show to bring to mind streets in Iran. In Iran, the charity boxes are fixed to the ground. But in this series, it is put in a cement mold.
What careless spy do you know who goes visible like this with a logo sign belonging to a tourism company? Are they saying come and catch me?
One of the most important challenges for Westerners to produce films and series about Iran is pulling together costumes they deem to be accurate. Western viewers may not notice the costume blunders and accept any country in the name of Iran. The odd mistakes in making ‘Tehran’ rear their head and make it onto the big screen. The Israelis thought they could place Athens and Greece as Tehran showing a boiled beet seller, baked beans, two women badly dressed in chador, a mailbox and the call for entries poster of the 22nd Int’l Storytelling Festival. But they have not thought about the blue telephone booth with the color of the Greek flag.
How much do you think is the amount of cash that the young people claim to be bribing the checkpoint officer with? Ten million Rials, but no matter how many of these thousand Tomans are put together, it is not going to be ten million Rials.
It is not known what the creators of the series have assumed the visual acuity of the Iranians to put cars and motorcycle number plates this big.
Now do you think if Iran was to make an anti-Israel movie, it would result in a series more anti-Israeli than ‘Tehran’?