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.

The narrow path to agreement: How Europe should support the Iran nuclear deal

If European governments want to salvage the deal before it is too late, while also opening up the prospect of negotiations with Iran on regional security, they need to quickly and clearly reject the argument that the two issues should be bundled together

Course correction in US-Iranian relations: A road map for the Biden administration

Joe Biden has vowed to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal. In a recent report for Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Ellie Geranmayeh looks at what concrete steps can be taken by the United States, Iran, and Europe to bring all parties to the nuclear deal back into full compliance, noting that time is of the essence

Do not expect a rush of arms sales to Iran

A broad range of political and financial problems are likely to prevent Iran from importing advanced weapons systems in the coming years

Europe can preserve the Iran nuclear deal until November

After a humiliating defeat at the UN Security Council, Washington will seek snapback sanctions to sabotage what is left of the nuclear deal. Britain, France, and Germany can still keep it alive until after the US election



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




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