Emanuele Ottolenghi, PhD
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Schooled in Italy, the UK, the US and Israel, Emanuele Ottolenghi holds a PhD from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After completing his degree, Ottolenghi taught Israel Studies at Oxford University in the UK for seven years and headed the American Jewish Committee’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels from 2006 to 2010. During his time at Oxford he produced an acclaimed book on contemporary European antisemitism, published in Italian in 2006, which built upon his 2005 Commentary magazine essay “Europe’s Good Jews.”
His work on Iran dates back to his time in Brussels, where he was the first policy analyst to publish an in-depth study of European-Iranian economic relations in 2008. His work on Europe’s trade with the Islamic Republic intersected with his knowledge of Iran’s nuclear program to produce the first comprehensive study detailing and advocating European Union’s sanctions against Iran. Published in 2008 in Italian and 2009 in English by Profile Books, Under a Mushroom Cloud argued for a sanctions’ regime to slow down Iran’s nuclear procurement and increase Western diplomatic leverage. Republished in 2010 under the title Iran: the Looming Crisis, Ottolenghi’s book saw many of his policy suggestions integrated into European Union’s legislation against Iran’s economy and its nuclear program.
Since 2010, Ottolenghi’s work has focused on documenting Iran’s techniques for sanctions’ evasion. His 2011 monograph The Pasdaran: Inside Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Corps explored the IRGC’s political influence as well as its growing commercial empire. Since then, Ottolenghi has been mapping out Iran’s procurement networks.