By Ahmad Rafat

Ellie Cohanim was the U.S. deputy special envoy to monitor and combat anti-semitism at the U.S. State Department during the Trump administration, and the Department’s first Iranian-born Jewish representative.

While working for the U.S. government, Ms. Cohanim led policy changes to counter antisemitism in the Middle East, and played an integral role in establishing groundbreaking partnerships with countries in the region to stem antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Having fled Iran during the Islamic Revolution in 1979 with her family, Cohanim came to the U.S. as a child refugee. She went on to receive a degree in political science, cum laude, from Columbia university.

In this interview, Ms. Cohanim speaks with Kayhan Life’s Ahmad Rafat about the 2015 nuclear deal and the indirect talks between Washington and Tehran in Vienna; the new Biden administration; and what the future holds for Iran and the West.


  1. Such a one-sided interview. I stopped listening halfway through. Trump himself could have been speaking.

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