Experts & Staff

Ellie Geranmayeh

Senior Policy Fellow

Languages: English, Persian
Areas of Expertise: Europe-Iran relations, Iran nuclear deal and associated sanctions policy, Iranian foreign and domestic policy, Iran-Saudi relations

Ellie Geranmayeh is senior policy fellow for the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. She focuses on European foreign policy in relation to Iran, particularly on the nuclear and regional dossiers. Her expertise also covers wider regional dynamics as outlined in her latest policy publications “After ISIS: How to Win the Peace in Iraq and Libya” (ECFR, 2017) and “The new power couple: Russia and Iran in the Middle East” (ECFR, 2016).

Geranmayeh closely followed and advised on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and world powers from 2013-2015 during which time she authored “Engaging with Iran: A European agenda(ECFR, 2015), in which she assessed how Western relations with Iran can develop in the aftermath of the nuclear deal, particularly regarding energy security and pathways for de-escalation of conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Geranmayeh regularly advises governments and business across Europe and the Middle East. She is published and quoted widely by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Guardian, Foreign Affairs and Politico amongst others.  

From 2011-2013, Geranmayeh worked at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP law firm (based in London and Tokyo), where she gained experience in public international law and sanctions regimes. Ellie received a BA in Law and an MA from the University of Cambridge. She later earned a Masters in Laws, focusing on public international law and global security at the University of Virginia. 

Latest from Ellie Geranmayeh

  • Cover: Iran Deal: Keep Calm and Carry On?

    Iran Deal: Keep Calm and Carry On?

    ECFR’s director Mark Leonard talks with ECFR’s head of MENA programme Ruth Citrin and Iran expert Ellie Geranmayeh about the consequences of Trump's decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal and the responses that Europe can make to avert another nuclear crisis.

    The podcast was recorded on 13th October 2017.

    Peter Frankopan, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World
    Deidre Berger et al., ‘In Spite of It All, America’, in the New York Times and Die Zeit

    Listen online   

    ECFR Discussion: Kurdish Dynamics Amid a Fracturing Regional Order

    What will be the trajectory of Kurdish politics in Iraq and Syria following the defeat of ISIS? What are the European policy options amid a changing regional landscape?
    Hemin Hawrami, Senior Advisor, HE Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region
    Ranj Alaaldin, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution, Doha
    Güney Yildiz, Specialist Adviser, Foreign Affairs Select Committee, House of Commons
    Chaired by: Ellie Geranmayeh, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

    Listen online   

    ECFR Discussion: An Emerging Trump Doctrine on Iran?

    Panellists will consider Iran policy options under debate within the White House and the US Congress, including on the nuclear deal and Iran’s regional presence. The discussion will examine the implications for regional powers, Russia, and Europe of changes in US policy, in particular the impact on European governments and companies engaged with Tehran.

    Sir Richard Dalton, former UK Ambassador to Iran
    Reza Marshai, Research Director, National Iranian American Council
    Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, Research Fellow, Royal United Service Institute
    Chaired by: Ellie Geranmayeh, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

    Listen online   

    After ISIS: Stabilising Iraq and Libya

    Even while conducting terrorist attacks in Berlin, Istanbul and Baghdad recently, Isis has suffered severe setbacks with the elimination of its territorial presence in Libya and the offensive in Mosul. But without a clear political strategy to guide post-ISIS efforts, both countries could again become breeding grounds for conflict and extremism, exacerbating European security and migration challenges. In light also of the new Trump administration, European states must step up their own efforts. The panellists outlined a series of recommendations for Iraq and Libya and some lessons learned for Syria.

    This discussion marked the launch of the publication "After ISIS: How to Win the Peace in Iraq and Libya", available here.

    Listen online   

    Cover: Mark Leonard’s World in 30 Minutes: Trump’s US: Out of the Middle East business?

    Mark Leonard's World in 30 Minutes: Trump's US: Out of the Middle East business?

    ECFR’s director Mark Leonard speaks with ECFR's Middle East and North Africa Progamme Director, Ruth Citrin, and ECFR Policy Fellows, Ellie Geranmayeh and Hugh Lovatt, on the cards that the EU can play if the U.S. walks away from the table.

    The podcast was recorded on 13 January 2017.

    Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
    Naguib Mahfouz, Children of the Alley: A Novel
    Aeyal Gross, The Writing on the Wall: Rethinking the International Law of Occupation
    Deutsche Asset Management, Backlash against globalization: Déjà vu?

    Listen online   

    Cover: ECFR Clips: Will the Iran Nuclear Deal Survive Trump?

    ECFR Clips: Will the Iran Nuclear Deal Survive Trump?

    Ellie Geranmayeh, Senior Policy Fellow for ECFR's Middle East and North Africa programme, speaks with:
    1. Dr. Richard Nephew, Program Director, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University, former lead sanctions expert for the U.S. team negotiating with Iran (2011-2013)
    2. Daryl Kimball, Director, Arms Control Association

    The Podcast was recorded on the sidelines of ECFR’s Strategy Meeting on the Iran Nuclear Deal that took place in Berlin on Wednesday 11 January.

    Listen online   

    ECFR's World in 30 Minutes: The battle for Mosul

    ECFR's Director, Mark Leonard, speaks with Middle East experts, Hayder al-Khoei and Ellie Geranmayeh, who have just returned from Iraq, about the battle for Mosul and prospects for post-conflict reconciliation. The podcast was recorded on 21 October 2016.


    After ISIS, internal ethnic conflicts will increase

    Minorities in Iraq Memory, Identity and Challenges

    Listen online   

    ECFR’s World in 30 Minutes: Donald Trump, NATO, Russia and Iran

    ECFR’s director Mark Leonard first speaks with David Sanger, journalist from the New York Times, about what Donald Trump would mean for the future of the United States, and the NATO alliance.  In the second part of the podcast he speaks with Kadri Liik and Ellie Geranmayeh about the new “power couple” Russia and Iran, and their relations in the Middle East. The podcast was recorded on the 15 and 27 September 2016.


    The new power couple: Russia and Iran in the Middle East by Ellie Geranmayeh and Kadri Liik

    Listen online   


Tel: +44 (0)207 227 6872

Ellie Geranmayeh on Twitter