Newsha Tavakolian/Polaris/Discovery Channel
Ted Koppel in Jamkaran mosque in Qom, Iran.
Ted Koppel in Jamkaran mosque in Qom, Iran. Newsha Tavakolian/Polaris/Discovery Channel
Koppel in front of the former U.S. Embassy Wall in Tehran.
Koppel in front of the former U.S. Embassy Wall in Tehran. Newsha Tavakolian/Polaris
You can find more information about the documentary, which premieres on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, at the Discovery Channel Web site.
Village elder Jaafar Hosseini with workers near a rice field outside of Isfahan, Iran.
Village elder Jaafar Hosseini with workers near a rice field outside of Isfahan, Iran. Newsha Tavakolian/Polaris
In the midst of the international crisis over Iran's nuclear program, journalist Ted Koppel spent three weeks speaking with people around that country.
In his documentary, Iran — The Most Dangerous Nation, Koppel reports on how Iranians view the policies of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and what lies at the root of decades of deep-rooted distrust between Iran and the United States.
Koppel's reporting experience with Iran stretches back to 1974; most famously, he covered the U.S. embassy hostage crisis in 1979.
Today, he characterizes the U.S.-Iranian relationship as "tit for tat, grievance for grievance."
For example, while the United States criticizes Iranian support for terrorist organization such as Hamas and Hezbollah, Iranians talk about U.S. support for Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
Koppel notes: "What horrifies U.S. policy makers is the prospect of Iran armed with nuclear weapons. What if they used them against the Israelis, or just gave them to their Hezbollah surrogates in Lebanon."
In the new Discovery Channel documentary, Koppel travels to the border of Iran's border with Iraq, the ancient capital of Isfahan, the holy city of Qom and the Persian Gulf.
He talks to Iranians from all walks of life — businessmen, dissidents, former government officials and ordinary citizens — to hear their thoughts on their country's leaders, nuclear ambitions and relations with the rest of the world.