Experts & Staff


Ellie Geranmayeh

Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme
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 a senior policy fellow and deputy head of the Middle East and North Africa programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. She specializes in European foreign policy in relation to Iran, particularly on the nuclear and regional dossiers and sanctions policy.

Geranmayeh advised European governments and companies on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and world powers from 2013-2015 and continues to brief senior policy makers on how to effectively safeguard the implementation of the nuclear agreement. Her research focus also covers wider regional dynamics including post-ISIS stabilisation and geopolitical trends in the Middle East. 

She is regularly quoted by international media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and appears on CNN, Al-Jazeera and the BBC to provide commentary on regional developments.  Prior to joining ECFR, Geranmayeh worked at Herbert Smith Freehills law firm. She graduated in Law from the University of Cambridge. 


Latest from Ellie Geranmayeh

  • Cover: Iran: Calculating the cost of US sanctions

    Iran: Calculating the cost of US sanctions

    Over a year into the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, the re-imposition of sanctions have not only placed in jeopardy the Iran nuclear deal, but also hit the Iranian economy.
    The panel consisting of Esfandyar Batmanghelidj(Founder, Bourse & Bazaar), David Ramin Jalilvand(CEO, Orient Matters), Tara Sepheri Far(Iran Researcher, Human Rights Watch and chaired by Ellie Geranmayeh (Deputy Head of the MENA Programme, ECFR) looked at all the costs associated with the US sanctions policy including the impact on ordinary Iranians, the Iranian leadership and how this ties into the recent wave of protests across the country.
    The event on 3rd December considered the impact of the US sanctions on trade between Europe and Iran, particularly in the humanitarian sector.

    Recorded on 3 December 2019 in Berlin.

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    Cover: Yemen - Seizing the moment of oppurtunity?

    Yemen - Seizing the moment of oppurtunity?

    Recording of the Lunch Discussion analysing Yemen's role in the current Gulf crisis and how recent regional developments will have an impact on the UN-coordinated peace process.

    Almost a year after the widely praised UN-sponsored Stockholm Agreement, there have been significant changes in the Yemeni war but peace appears no nearer. Focus has shifted away from the Hodeida front, leading to the UAE’s military disengagement from Yemen, and leaving Saudi Arabia in sole charge of the war at a time when finding an appropriate response to the September attacks on ARAMCO remains its priority. Within Yemen itself, in recent months, military action and negotiations have concentrated on the summer’s developments in the South, and Saudi attempts to solve the impasse created by southern separatist takeover of Aden, revealing serious differences between the two main members of the Saudi-led coalition.

    Our speakers addressed the role Yemen plays in the overall Gulf crisis, including Gulf States perspectives resulting from US volatility, recent and potential developments in the UN-coordinated peace process and the implications of recent internal events in the country.

    Recorded on 14 November 2019.

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    Cover: Iran & the US escalation game - What Europe can do?

    Iran & the US escalation game - What Europe can do?

    In this episode, live from Brussels, Ellie Geranmayeh is standing in for our host Mark Leonard to discuss Iran’s further withdrawal from the 2015 Nuclear Agreement. 
    After the Iran Strategy Meeting meeting, she met with Hossein Mousavian (Princeton University), Ilan Goldenberg (Center for a New American Security) and Nasser Hadian (University of Teheran) to analyse the responses coming from the US and European governments, in particular from France. By marking the 40th anniversary of the Iran Hostage Crisis, they look back on how this has shaped the Iran-US relations in the past 4 years. Moreover, after one year, how has the re-imposition of the US sanction impacted Iran domestically? 

    This podcast was recorded on 6 November 2019.

    Bookshelf:

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    Cover: Meddling or Bargaining? - Emmanuel Macron’s Iran Initiative

    Meddling or Bargaining? - Emmanuel Macron's Iran Initiative

    This week, ECFR director Mark Leonard discusses with experts Ellie Geranmayeh and Julien Barnes-Dacey the French president Emmanuel Macron's bold initiative: Europeans are now to explore a credit line for Iran to entice the sanctions-battered country to keep abiding by an international nuclear deal. But the US and president Trump are sceptical.

    Bookshelf:

    The podcast was recorded on 6 September 2019.

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    Cover: Meeting the Challenge of Secondary Sanctions

    Meeting the Challenge of Secondary Sanctions

    The second episode of ECFR’s summer series on strategic sovereignty explores the critical challenge that secondary sanctions pose for Europe, due to the Trump administration’s maximalist position on Iran. Joining Mark Leonard for a lively discussion of economic statecraft are Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior policy fellow at ECFR, Henry Farrell, a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and Elizabeth Rosenberg, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. They discuss how Europe could reduce its vulnerabilities to U.S. secondary sections, which – in the future - could target countries that are more important to the European economy, such as China and Russia. 

    This podcast was recorded on Tuesday, 23 July 2019.

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    Cover: Europe and the US-Iran escalation

    Europe and the US-Iran escalation

    Mark Leonard is joined by Ellie Geranmayeh, deputy head of ECFR’s MENA programme, Hossein Mousavian, former Iranian diplomat and scholar, and Ilan Goldenberg, director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and former Pentagon official. They explore the latest development around the JCPOA, the European and Iranian point of views, and scenarios for potential US-Iran escalation.

    The podcast was recorded on 14 May 2019.

    Bookshelf:

    60 days to save the JCPOA by Ellie Geranmayeh 
    There Is Still Time for Diplomacy With Iran by Ilan Goldenberg and Elizabeth Rosenberg 
    It’s Time for the Leaders of Saudi Arabia and Iran to Talk by Hossein Mousavian and Abdulaziz Sager 

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    Video: Video: The Middle East’s new battlelines

    ECFR - 03 May 2019

    ECFR’s New Battlelines Project maps Iran’s coalition of allies, regional influence and the counter-coalition that has formed to oppose them.

    Cover: Why did Iran’s foreign minister resign?

    Why did Iran's foreign minister resign?

    Mark Leonard speaks with Ellie Geranmayeh and Dr Kayhan Barzegar about Mohammad Javad Zarif’s resignation and the current political situation in Iran. The podcast was recorded on 27 February 2019.

    Bookshelf:

    Becoming by Michelle Obama

    Reading Lolita from Tehran by Azar Nafisi 

    Let the swords encircle me by Scott Peterson 

     

    Films:

    The Insult

    No Man’s Land 

    About Elly 

    A Separation

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Contact

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)207 227 6872

@EllieGeranmayeh on Twitter

Ellie Geranmayeh on Twitter