Experts & Staff

Ellie Geranmayeh

Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa programme
Senior Policy Fellow

Areas of expertise

Europe-Iran relations; Iran nuclear deal and associated sanctions policy; Iranian foreign and domestic policy; Iran-Saudi relations


English, Persian


Ellie Geranmayeh is a senior policy fellow and deputy head of the Middle East and North Africa programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. She focuses on European policy in relation to Iran, particularly on the nuclear and regional dossiers and sanctions policy.

Geranmayeh worked extensively on the diplomatic track that led to the 2015 nuclear deal and continues to brief senior policymakers on how to effectively contain Iran’s nuclear activities. Her research also covers wider regional dynamics including de-escalation efforts between the GCC states and Iran, and geopolitical trends in the Middle East as a consequence of increasing tensions between global powers.

She is regularly quoted by international media outlets including the New York TimesWall Street Journal, The Guardian, and appears on CNN, Al-Jazeera and the BBC to provide commentary on developments in the Middle East.

Prospects for the Iranian nuclear talks

While the new potential role of Russia boosts​ the chances of a final nuclear deal with Iran, gaps over sanctions relief continue to place doubts over whether this month's deadline can be met

Iran’s strategy against the Islamic State

Iran’s strategy for combatting the Islamic State has entailed a broad political and firm security response channelled through the governments in Damascus and Baghdad and local Shia groups

Boost the momentum with Iran – don’t slow it down

The next few months will present some of the biggest, and at times unexpected, challenges for those advocating a political solution addressing Iran’s nuclear programme. 

Third time lucky in Geneva

The E3+3 and Iran met for a third time in Geneva to sign an interim agreement on the future of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. While not perfect, the deal is a springboard for future negotiations and sets a solid foundation for talks between the E3+3 and Iran to continue



Generation no: The Iranian uprising and how the West should respond

Young people in Iran have led mass protests after the death of a woman in police custody. The West should stand in solidarity with the protesters while keeping the diplomatic route open to constrain Iran’s nuclear programme

Rogue NATO: The new face of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

The SCO is often seen as the anti-NATO, but Putin will struggle to convince the other members – especially the Central Asian states – that his war is more important than Chinese investment




In the media