Supporting "business diplomacy" through events, publishing and research focused on Iran's economic future.


World-Class Speakers

Europe-Iran Forum speakers are chosen for their ability to make significant contributions to the discussion of their chosen industry or area of responsibility. These individuals represent the best and brightest minds working on supporting post-sanctions economic development in Iran.

Ms. Helga Schmid has been Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) since 2016. In her previous role as Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, Ms. Schmid was a central figure in the negotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran Deal. Her leadership and contributions ensured historic consensus was achieved around the agreement and its five annexes. She continues to oversee the European Union's commitment to the implementation of the Iran Deal, particularly through oversight of the Iran Task Force of the EEAS. 

She was previously Director of the Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit (Policy Unit) of the High Representative for the CFSP in the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, Brussels. Before that she worked for the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin as Head of the Political Staff and Head of the Minister's Office (2003 – 2005) and Deputy Head (2000 – 2003). Ms Schmid was Political Adviser to Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and to the Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel. Before that she was the Press and Public Affairs Officer at the German Embassy in Washington (1991 – 1994) and Assistant Private Secretary to the Minister for European Affairs (1990 – 1991).

She has studied international and European law, economics, international relations at the Diplomatic Academy and she has an MA in English and Romance languages, literature, history and politics (1980 - 1987) from Munich University (Ludwig Maximilians Universität) and Sorbonne, Paris.

Mehdi Karbasian is Chairman of IMIDRO, Iran’s leading industrial conglomerate. In this capacity he is also Deputy Minister for Industry, Mine, and Trade. IMIDRO is comprised of 10 major subsidiary companies active in the vertically integrated manufacture of steel, aluminum, and copper, among other activities.

Dr. Karbasian has held numerous senior leadership positions in noted Iranian industrial and financial companies including the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Parsian Bank, the Oil Industry Pension Fund Investment Company (OPIC) and the Social Security Organization (SSO).

He holds an M.B.A. from Oklahoma City University and a PhD in Applied Management from the University of Paisley, Scotland.


Ambassador Annan’s service in the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs spans two decades. He has spent a considerable portion of his career working on Middle East foreign policy, including positions as Deputy Head of the Royal Danish Embassy in Damascus (1999-2003), Head of Section in the MENA Department (2005-2006), First Secretary at the Royal Danish Embassy in Beirut (2006-2007), and Deputy Head of the MENA Department (2012-2015). Ambassador Annan has held additional postings in India and Sri Lanka, and has managed policy on Russia and Africa. He began his posting in Iran in August 2015.

Ambassador Annan holds a law degree from the University of Copenhagen where he taught a course in international law and EU law between 1998-1999.

Ambassador Delhaye joined the Belgian foreign service in 1993 and was successively posted in Saudi Arabia (1995-99), Vienna-IAEA (1999-2002), Democratic Republic of Congo (2002-2006) and NATO (2009-2011).

He also served as deputy spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign affairs (2007-2009) and as adviser to the Minister of Foreign affairs for defense and security matters (2011-2014). He has been Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran since September 2014.

Ambassador Delhaye is a graduate in political sciences and international relations from the Free University of Brussels and Johns Hopkins University.

Susanna Terstal is currently Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Islamic Republic of Iran, where she started in August 2015. Her previous positions include Ambassador to Angola (2012-2015), Deputy Head of Mission of the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva (2008-2012). In the ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands she held different positions in the Legal Department. Before joining the Ministry in 1993 she worked in the private sector. She studied in the Netherlands, the United States and Italy.

Ambassador Gojło has served as Poland’s Ambassador to Iran since 2010. Previously, he was Deputy Director of the Africa and Middle East Department in Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His first posting in the Middle East was in Iraq, where he has spent two stints, most recently leading the Task Group for Iraq from 2008-2010. Ambassador Gojło has also served as Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Pretoria, South Africa. Ambassador Gojło is one of the longest serving European ambassadors in Iran.

Dr. Farzaneh Sharafbafi is the newly appointed CEO of Iran Air, the national airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She is the first woman to lead the company, rising from the position of aviation instructor to CEO in the span of a 20 year career at Iran Air. Dr. Sharafbafi has been a member of the airlines executive board since 2016, and was previously Head of Human Resource Development and Training. Prior to this, she was the General Director for Research and Educational Planning. She began her career at Iran Air in 1996 as an aircraft instructor. She has published extensively in leading aviation journals and presented in conferences around the world. Dr. Sharafbafi holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Sharif University of Technology in additional to master's and bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering also from Sharif.





Parviz Aghili is the Managing Director and Vice‐Chairman of Khavarmianeh (Middle East) Bank, one of Iran's newest and most innovative financial institutions. Parviz previously held the position of Managing Director at both Karafarin Bank and Industrial Investment of Iran. His career as a banker has spanned North America, Sub‐Sahran Africa, and the Middle East. Middle East Bank completed its first year of operations in 2013, but has quickly developed a reputation for its quality of service and world‐class banking practices. As a wholesale bank, with limited branches, Middle East Bank has pioneered electronic banking in Iran. The bank's strong commitment to the development and training of its employees, leading to the formation of Iran's most talented team of young bankers, is reflected in Aghili's long commitment to education. Parviz holds a PhD in Finance from the University of Wisconsin and currently teaches at in the Graduate School of Management Studies at the Sharif University of Technology.

Mr. Hans Nijkamp is a Vice President and Shell’s Country Chairman for Iran. He is responsible for new business development and project delivery across Shell’s portfolio in Iran.

Hans has extensive industry experience, having held a number of senior positions within Royal Dutch Shell, including the development and operation of upstream, midstream and downstream businesses, the negotiation of complex commercial agreements, establishing Joint Ventures and the management of projects and operations in the Middle East and Europe.

Prior to his current role as Vice President Iran, Hans successfully executed Shell’s country entry into Iraq and subsequently established a multi-billion dollar portfolio comprising of the development and start-up of two upstream mega projects Majnoon and West Qurna 1 (non-operated), the development and start-up of a midstream gas joint venture Basrah Gas Company, the development of a world scale petrochemicals joint venture and the development and establishment of a lubricants business.

Hans holds an MBA from Henley Business School in the UK, and a Bachelor of Sciences in Mechanical Engineering from the Enschede University of applied Sciences, in The Netherlands.

Hans has also effectively cultivated a comprehensive senior stakeholder network in governments in Iraq, Britain, the Netherlands and the USA. Additionally, he is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI).

Sarim Sheikh joined GE in 2012 as President & CEO of GE Pakistan. He is responsible for leading the company’s operations and developing business growth strategy in the country.

He began his career at Shell, where he held a number of key leadership positions. Immediately prior to joining GE, he served as Country Chairman and CEO Shell Pakistan; from 2007-2011 he was Cluster General Manager for Shell Lubricants in the Netherlands, covering 55 countries in Europe, Africa and Latin America; from 2004-2007 he was responsible for Strategic Business Reviews and M&A projects with Shell Downstream Strategy; and from 2001-2004 he held the position of Global Marketing Manager for Shell Transport business in the UK, covering 140 countries.

Sarim is a member of the Managing Committee of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI). He holds an MBA degree from the London Business School. Based in Islamabad, Sarim is married with two children.

Ghobad Shahbazi holds a Master of Science from Royal Danish School of Pharmacy and has been working with Novo Nordisk for approximately 23 years. For more than 10 years, he has been working as the Principal Scientist in various Insulin Manufacturing Plants within Denmark; in addition to this, he was acting as the Project Director for Local Manufacturing Projects in multiple countries like India, Iran, Algeria and Egypt for roughly 5 years. More recently, he has taken up different positions at Novo Nordisk International Operations in various locations from Athens and Istanbul to Tehran, Copenhagen and Dubai. Establishment of Novo Nordisk affiliates in Iran (2005) and Iraq (2011) are to name a few of his recent successful projects. He is currently a  member of Novo Nordisk management team for the Region; Africa, Asia, Middle East and Oceania and works as the Corporate Vice President & General Manager of Novo Nordisk Iran

Padideh Gützkow is Vice President Mobility Iran since 2016. She is responsible for the whole Mobility portfolio starting from Urban transportation (Metros), Mainline transportation, Automation, Service, and complex Turnkey solutions. Before she was responsible for intelligent transportation solutions within Siemens (ITS) Mobility in Berlin. She worked on optimization of flow of trucks at ports and port hinterland infrastructure, Intermodal hubs and Cities with focus on logistics. Furthermore she worked five years as senior management consultant at mobility division within Siemens. Before she worked at NEA Transport Research and Training in the Netherlands. Padideh has worked more than eighteen years as transport expert in a wide variety of projects, covering the modes of transport as port, road, rail and Logistics. Padideh is specialised in economic analysis, evaluation, transport policy, road pricing, Port rail pricing, Public Private Partnerships. She has a broad experience in managing, carrying out and organising projects for Ministries, infrastructure managers, port authorities, national and regional authorities. She has set up a platform for the German Ministry of transport and construction in order to strengthen the logistics location. She worked on the Master plan rail port in Hamburg in order to find new Innovative operation systems for the harbour, doing a bottleneck analysis, creating a new billing system in order to increase the efficiency of the harbour and to analyze new Infrastructure projects for rail port system. Over 10 years of experience in transport & Logistics, project management, promoting of Logistics for Governments, developing of marketing strategies for High Technology clusters, Analysis of infrastructure investment data.

Philippe Delleur is Senior Vice President Public Affairs in Alstom. Between 2011 and 2015 he was SVP International Network and President of Alstom International. He joined Alstom in 2006 as Senior Vice President South Europe-Africa- Middle East, then SVP Latin America and President of Alstom Brazil. Before joining Alstom he worked for 23 years in the French Ministry of Economy and Finances, notably as Managing Director of the Public Procurement Agency, Deputy Secretary of Trade and member of staff of the Minister of Economy and Finance, Michel Sapin. He is a graduate of the ENA (French National School of Administration), Sciences Po Paris and holds a Law Degree.

After a PhD in material science, Benjamin Fournier worked as a researcher at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). He then joined Manoir Industries as Head of Research & Development. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Petrochemical and Nuclear division in 2015. Benjamin established a joint venture in Iran dedicated to foundry parts for the petrochemical industry and the direct reduction of iron. This entity, named Manoir Akhgar, was officially registered in May 2017 and is based in Esfahan.

Søren Holm Jensen is the President and CEO of CO-RO A/S, a Danish producer of fruit-based soft drinks, including brands like Sunquick, Suntop and Sun Lolly. CO-RO’s was founded in 1942, and today, it’s brands are produced at 12 sites and sold in more than 80 markets, mainly in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa. Before joining CO-RO in early 2015, Søren had a 16 year career in the worlds 3rd largest brewery group, Carlsberg Breweries A/S. At Carlsberg, Søren held various senior management positions, including Vice President of Export & License (2001-2004), CEO of Carlsberg Hong Kong (2004-2007), Managing Director of Carlsberg Malaysia (2007-2010) and Commercial CEO Western Europe (2010-2015). Søren holds a Master degree in Business Administration from Århus School of Business in Denmark.

John Andrews is a consultant editor for The Economist, the prestigious British weekly. Until moving back to London in November 2006, he was The Economist’s most experienced foreign correspondent. In a 24‐year career that included positions in London as industry editor and Asia editor, his foreign postings have ranged from Singapore and Hong Kong to Brussels, Washington DC, Paris and finally Los Angeles. John Andrews has written two books on Asia, co‐authored a book on Europe and contributed chapters to other books, including the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He has been a Hearst journalism fellow at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California. His latest book is The Economist Book of Isms and he is currently writing The World in Conflict, an analysis of present day war and terrorism to be published by Profile Books under The Economist imprint in 2015. Andrews is the co‐editor of Megachange: The World in 2050, which examines the key developments that will determine our future. His special reports in The Economist —12,000–word essays which, unlike the magazine’s other articles, carry a by‐line—have covered subjects as diverse as civil aerospace, the European Union and the world of sport. He is a frequent broadcaster and public speaker.

Mr. Lewis, a national of Barbados, has served with the United Nations for 26 years in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.  He was born in Bridgetown in 1962.  Mr. Lewis has been the UN Resident Coordinator and the UNDP Resident Representative in Iran since 2013.

Between 2008-2013 he was Regional Representative at the UNODC Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific, based in Bangkok, Thailand and covering 34 countries and territories.

Prior postings include India, South Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Austria, and his native Barbados.  

Mr. Lewis holds a Master of Science degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.  His undergraduate years were spent at Queen's University in Canada and Glasgow University in the UK.  He is a University of the West Indies Exhibition holder.  Mr. Lewis is a published author on Barbadian history and has also written journal articles on matters related to Caribbean security and drug control.  He is a soccer player.  His interests include bass guitar and percussion, paleoanthropology, 4x4 off-road driving and scuba diving.

He is accompanied in Iran by his wife, Elizabeth Lewis. Together, they have three university-age daughters.

Parviz Akbaroff is the International Business Director and advises Rah Shahr International Group’s business development team on how to pursue new opportunities. He also builds and maintains new relationships to leverage them when needed to facilitate collaboration. He earned his Business & Management Degree (BSc) from Indiana Institute of Technology and his MBA from St. Francis University of Indiana. Parviz has been instrumental in cementing several international business collaborations across various engineering and infrastructure sectors, having worked in both the US and Iran. He is currently a member of the “International Development Management” team at Rah Shahr helping with the company’s efforts to prepare investment packages, due diligence reports, foreign companies’ market entry into Iran, etc. He has deep experience leading accounts, developing strong client relationships, working across business functions and teams, and creating strategies that work in the complex Iranian financial climate. 

Since 2008, Elahe Alavi has been Country Manager for Janssen, represented in Iran by Behestan Darou. Previously she was the Sales & Marketing Director at Jahan Behood, a leading pharmaceutical importer. She is currently a board member of the Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce and leads its healthcare council. Elahe holds a D-Pharm from Azad University. 



Dr. Afrooz Bahrami is General Manager of Foreign Investment in the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade which is responsible for steering investment in all industrial and mining projects in Iran.

As the lead manager of the Foreign Investment Department in the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, she is in charge of designing and implementing policies to increase foreign direct investment flows to industrial, mining, and trade fields in the country and she and her team have made a significant impact in facilitating post-sanctions FDI. 

Dr. Bahrami holds a Ph.D. degree in Finance from University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in addition to an M.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering.

Jarrett Blanc is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Blanc was formerly the Deputy Lead Coordinator and State Department Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to this position, he was the ‎Principal Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), where he was responsible for issues ranging from international security assistance to support for mediating the Afghan electoral process. Blanc holds an A.B. from Harvard University and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Since the establishment of Bank Pasargad in September 2005, Dr. Mostafa Beheshti Rouy has been an Executive Board Member at the bank supervising all international affairs. Dr. Beheshti Rouy began his career with Bank Tehran, a leading private commercial bank, in 1971. Prior to joining Bank Pasargad, he held several senior roles between 2002 and 2005 which followed his 30 year career at Bank Mellat. As Director General of International Division at Bank Mellat, Dr. Beheshti Rouy took initiative to expand the bank’s international network, designed many innovative policies and implemented strict regulatory systems for all international operations of the bank. He also served as CEO of Bank Mellat Turkey.

Maurice de Kok received a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Delft  University of Technology in the Netherlands in 1989 and started his career as a civil engineer (MSc) with Ballast Nedam Engineering in the same year. He was involved in the preparation and execution of many large projects such as the construction of Container Terminal Eight in Hong Kong, the new airport project Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong and the Oresund Fixed Link between Denmark and Sweden.

After the merger between HAM and Ballast Nedam Dredging in 2001 he worked as Area Manager Middle East for Ballast Ham Dredging (2001-2003). Following the merger between Ballast Ham Dredging and Van Oord in 2003 he was Operations Manager Middle East for Van Oord (2003-2007). After many years of working and living abroad Maurice returned to the Netherlands in the position of Corporate Manager for the QHSE division of Van Oord (2008-2009) and later as Area Manager for Van Oord Offshore (2010-2015).

At present Maurice is Director Strategic Business Development for  Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors in the Netherlands.

Noteworthy are his 27 years of experience in the maritime construction industry and the experience he has gained whilst working in the following countries: the Netherlands, Germany, UK, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan, Korea, Qatar, UAE, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi, Iran, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Nigeria and Gabon.

After learning the ropes of maritime forwarding at several renowned Antwerp
Forwarders, Wim Dillen started in 1981 with Umicore, the Belgium-based non-ferrous
metals & specialty materials producer, where he took care of the operational
management of the 15 barge fleet for inland navigation until 1995. Between 1996 and
2003 he acted as Logistics Project Manager, and thus led & coordinated complex
multi-disciplinary projects regarding supply chain optimization, mainly abroad at
Umicore's overseas sites. From 2004 to 2006 he headed the corporate Maritime
Department of Umicore, responsible for all maritime transport and port handling of the
multinational. In 2006 he became Regional Supply Chain Manager at Nyrstar, the
world’s largest producer of zinc & zinc alloys, and one of the world’s largest primary
lead smelting & refining companies, created as a merger between the zinc smelting
activities of materials group Umicore & mining group Zinifex.

Wim Dillen saw a new challenge at the Antwerp Port Authority where he started in
2010 as Sr Business Development Manager, responsible for various commodities,
including ‘Steel & Non-Ferro’, 'Fruit & Perishables', ‘Agribulk & Foodstuffs’, ‘Solid
Fuels’ & ‘Industrial Minerals’. His objectives were to ensure the further growth &
success of the Port of Antwerp by attracting new, and safeguarding existing, business.
Since 2015 he has been in charge of defining, developing & implementing Antwerp’s
commercial vision & strategy and heads a team of 10 Business Development
Managers. Wim Dillen holds a Masters Degree in Logistics Management.

Payam Dindoust is founder and CEO of Behestan Darou and Behphar Pharmaceutical Holding Company. Behestan Darou is Iran’s largest pharmaceutical importing company, distributing finished prescription medicines mostly from US based multinational pharmaceutical companies.

Behphar Pharmaceutical Holding has its own manufacturing facility dedicated exclusively to under-license/Contract manufacturing for multinational pharmaceutical companies. Behphar also has a distribution entity for healthcare products and plasma collection centers.
Payam Dindoust is a medical doctor, holds a PhD in health service management and received his MBA from Rotman school of management/ University of Toronto.

Amir Farmanesh is the CEO and president of People Analytics Inc., and its subsidiary IranPoll, focusing on demystifying people's behaviors and opinions in complex societies and difficult contexts. Filling a long-standing void on global knowledge of people’s opinions in societies such as Iran, research conducted under his leadership have had a notable impact being widely utilized and cited by business and policy community including more than 300 media outlets in over 50 countries.

Dr. Farmanesh has also served as a visiting professor at the University of Toronto, an Edmond Safra fellow with Harvard University, an Erasmus Mundus fellow funded by the European Commission, and a Mirzayan policy fellow with the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

He holds an M.A. and M.P.A. from Syracuse University Maxwell School, and a PhD in Policy Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he worked with the economics Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling and Carol Graham – the Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution - as his doctoral advisors.

Ellie Geranmayeh is a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Her work focuses on European foreign policy in relation to Iran, particularly on the nuclear and regional dossiers in addition to Iran’s domestic politics. Geranmayeh closely followed and advised on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and world powers from 2013-2015. She previously 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 from the University of Cambridge and has a Masters in Law from the University of Virginia.

Omid is a highly respected investor who has held investments in Iran for over two years and is now based in Tehran. He was most recently an advisor to Procuritas Partners, Sweden’s first private equity fund. Omid was previously Portfolio Manager at Labrusca managing assets of EUR 300 million. Prior, he was Portfolio Manager at Skagen, overseeing USD 7 billion. Omid began his career as a practicing lawyer at Vinge and Faskin Martineau DuMoulin. He holds a Master in Law from Lund University and a Bachelors in Commerce from the University of British Columbia.

Murat Ersoy founded Etstur together with his twin brother Mehmet Ersoy in 1991. Murat and Mehmet Ersoy brothers kept growing in hotel management and in the tourism sector while they also managed to carry Etstur from zero to the top in the tour operating field.

Today, Etstur is the leading tour operator in Turkey, with a 70% of market share. Etsgroup owns a total of twelve 5-star hotels; seven Voyage, two Maxx Royal Resorts in Bodrum / Antalya and Elexus Hotels&Resort&Spa in North Cyprus with a total bed capacity of 12,000. By acquiring the 50 % shares of Atlasjet, in April 2004, Etsgroup joined forces with a major European tourism company Öger Tours, to take role in the aviation sector. In February 2006, Ersoy Brothers acquired entire shares of Atlasjet and in 2015 rebranded it as Atlasglobal Airlines.

Thanks to its fleet range and successive projects, Atlasglobal has achieved the title of leadership among the private airlines companies in a short time. Murat Ersoy holds the President position at Atlasglobal Airlines and he also holds the Vice President position at Etstur Executive Board. Murat Ersoy is officiated as the chairman of TYD (The Turkish Tourism Investors Association) between April 2013 - 2017. Mr. Ersoy also performed as Chairman of TÖSHİD (Turkish Private Aviation Enterprises Association) between December 2010 and December 2012 and has acted as the chairman of ISGID between November 2009 and November 2011. Mr Ersoy, is also a board member of EMA. (Euro-Mediterranean- Arab Association).

Murat Ersoy, continues to create new visions in the tourism and economy sectors with distinctive projects he creates, successful companies he manages and new investments he makes.

Ali joined Sarava as the Chief Strategy Officer late last year, Iran’s first and leading technology investment company and fund, overseeing portfolio management from for Mid to Growth stage companies, as well as mergers and acquisitions to strengthen and drive value generation. Before Sarava, he was the CEO at MCI’s investment arm, the largest mobile operator in the middle east. Having started with a small fund of $10m, Ali grew the company from strength to strength to an AUM of over $200m today. In 2015 he also founded MCI’s CVC arm to boost the innovation in the company as well as supporting the development of the startup community domestically. Ali started his professional career at Buali Investment Co as the investment Associate, shortly after being promoted to Investment Director. Throughout his seven-year tenure, he helped the company to IPO and led it to become one of the first institutional investors to invest in the private equity and gold futures market.

He is studying MBA in Telecommunication at Linkoping University and earned MS in Business Management from Tehran university (2009).

Dr. Haleh Hamedifar is founder of CinnaGen Group as well as CinnaGen’s 7 daughter companies. She was formerly advisor to the WHO regarding GMP & Quality Assurance of Vaccine and Biopharmaceuticals.

She joined CinnaGen Co. as QA consultant in 1998, and became CEO from 2001. Based on her background in pharmacy she drove a change in company strategy from from diagnostics to biopharmaceuticals.

She has managed several biosimilar projects which resulted in products that are now in national as well as regional markets. CinnaGen Group is currently the largest biopharmaceutical manufacturer in region for both its production capacity as well as the number of products in the market.


Dr. Hamefidar graduated at the top of her class at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) in 1995. She holds an MBA from Linkoping University, Sweden.

Aseyeh Hatami is the founder and Managing Director of Established in 2003, IranTalent is the leading online recruitment service in Iran, with a registered membership consisting of over half a million Iranian professionals, covering all sectors and job categories. By providing employers the opportunity to advertise vacancies on its website and search its database of members, IranTalent is today the primary source of professional and managerial talent for over 2000 major Iranian companies as well international firms operating in Iran. In addition to its core online recruitment service, IranTalent publishes insightful research and updates on Iran’s employment market and trends, including the country’s comprehensive Salary Report. Prior to founding IranTalent, Aseyeh was involved in another startup and worked as a recruitment consultant. She holds an engineering degree from Tehran Polytechnic University and some business related certificates from London.

Ramin holds a PhD in Law (Doctorat en Droit) at University of Paris I– Panthéon Sorbonne on the topic of “Foreign Investment in Iran”.

Ramin advises both governments and public companies in M&A transactions and due diligence, project management, cross-border contracts, joint ventures, and corporate structuring. He also intervenes on infrastructure projects and their financing, public-private partnerships and foreign investments regulation.

In regards to his activities in Iran, Ramin has wealth of experience in advising companies in foreign investments regulation and transactions, in particular in the field of energy, oil and gas (upstream and downstream), mining (exploration, production, trading), agro-industries; construction, infrastructure and financial services.

Sean has over 40 years of experience in financial crime compliance and investigations for the financial sector including banks, central banks, insurance providers, government bodies, large corporates and law enforcement agencies across the globe.  His focus has been on AML, sanctions, fraud, regulatory risk, anti-bribery/corruption and criminal investigations. 

During his career has encompassed work as a Director of Regulatory Risk, Head of Bank Security, Regional Fraud Management, Managing Director of his own corporate investigation company and a Lead Detective in the New Zealand Police. 

His work specialities are financial crime compliance transformations, change management, compliance screening system integration and fraud risk management.

Sean has worked on projects for banks and insurance providers in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Europe and provided guidance to regulators and central banks in the same locations.

He has provided face to face training for over 2500 financial services staff on regulatory risk, fraud, AML and sanctions over the last 3 years and has been a sought after speaker in conferences and seminars worldwide.

As a Director at EY, Sean is the financial services lead in the MENA region. 

Dan is a partner in the commercial, outsourcing and technology group. His practice is broadly split between services and supply chain issues, including procurement and supply at all stages of production, and outsourcing of both IT and BPO services. 

Dan has been advising a number of the British Iranian banks on their contractual requirements for the upgrading of their IT infrastructure and has assisted international businesses with their continuing Iran payment issues. Dan has also advised a number of companies in relation to the establishment of subsidiaries in Iran and the issues relevant to foreign direct investment.

He is a frequent speaker on Iran related topics. He presented on international contracts at the Irano-British Chamber of Commerce in Tehran in May 2016 as well as to the MBRI of the Central Bank of Iran in December 2015. He has also recently presented in Hong Kong on the local structures to support foreign direct investment into Iran.

Majid Hosseini Nejad is a serial entrepreneur and founder/CEO of, the leading online travel agency in Iran. Within three years, has been able to disrupt the Iranian travel industry and consolidate its top position with more than [2.5] million tickets sold and revenues in excess of USD 85 million in the last 12 months alone. With a annual growth rate of more than 200%, is the fastest growing large online travel agency globally. Before Alibaba travel, Majid gained solid experiencein trading especially with China. He has won numerous awards including “Brand creator entrepreneur” from 1st National Conference of Brand Creator Entrepreneurs and “ Effective entrepreneur” from Social Security Organization and is a popular key speaker in many entrepreneurial events. Majid has received his B.Sc and M.Sc from Amirkabir University of Technology and executive MBA and entrepreneurship and financial management post MBA from Industrial Management Institute (IMI).


Carsten Leuters is Senior Manager Supply Chain Management at KPMG in Zurich, and a sector specialist for logistics, distribution, transportation and SCM with international project assignments across global manufacturing and service industries. He is a member of the global KPMG Center of Excellence (CoE) Operations in module Distribution led by KPMG Australia. Carsten developed significant knowledge of the Iranian market during his tenure as Head of Corporate Projects within Business Development at M&M MiIitzer & Münch. Carsten holds an MBA from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. 

Hossein Mokhtari is the Director of the Industrial Relations Office at Sharif University of Technology and is a Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering. He received his B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Tehran University in 1989. From 1989-1992, he worked in the Consulting Division of Power Systems Dispatching Projects for the Electric Power Research Center Institute. He obtained his M.Sc. degree in Power Electronics from the University of New Brunswick, Canada (1994), and his Ph.D. in Power Electronics/Power Quality from the University of Toronto, (1999). He joined the Department of Electrical Engineering in 2000 and his research interests include power quality, power electronics and its application in power distribution systems, micro-grids, electric traction systems and smart grids. He is also the founder of several knowledge-based centers and companies and is a senior consultant to several utilities and industries.

She has developed a long and successful career in the management and
implementation of industrial and mining projects, with over 12 successful
implementation and under progress projects in both downstream and upstream in steel

During her career, she established business cooperation & friendly relationship with
domestic and foreign corporations including clients, suppliers and financial institutions
with the principle of customer first, honoring contracts, keeping business reputation and
mutual benefits.

She is a member of the Board of several trade institutions, among which the Tehran
Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (TCCIMA); the Iran Chamber
of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (ICCIMA) and the Iran China Chamber of
Commerce (ICCCI). She is also chairman of the Investment Commission of Iran
Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture; the Foreign Investment
Committee of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture; and the
Investment Commission of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce.

She holds Master degree in Economics from UK and has teaching experience in her

Sharif Nezam-Mafi is Chairman of the Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce, which works to facilitate stronger commercial ties between Iran and Switzerland. As Chairman, Sharif draws on his experience as the Iran managing director for two Swiss multinational corporations. He is currently Central Eurasia Managing Director for Buhler AG, the global leader in process technologies for the manufacture of grains and foods and advanced materials.

Prior to his role at Buhler, Sharif was Iran Managing Director for SGS S.A., the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. He has also been a Senior Manager in Risk Management at American Express. Sharif holds an M.B.A. from Suffolk University, Boston. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Mr. Nikousokhan has held various positions at IRITEC for the past 17 years. He began his career as a Fluid Mechanical Engineer before progressing to Project Manager and then Marketing Manager. He has experience working on several high profile projects in the DRI and steel industries including new plants at Mobarakeh Steel, IRASCO and Hormozgan Steel.

During his two years as Marketing Manager he contributed to the successful tendering for over EUR 1 billion worth of new business and in October 2016 was promoted to his current role as Commercial Deputy at IRITEC.

He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University.

Amir Paivar is a bilingual business correspondent and analyst covering Iranian and global economy at BBC World Service. The areas he covers most are energy, finance and industrial sectors. He covered the Iran nuclear talks as well as imposition and lifting of sanctions for BBC Persian.

Amir produced the award-winning documentary "Iran Deal: The Inside Story" for BBC and worked as a consultant on BBC's landmark series "Iran and the West." Before moving to the UK, Amir was a correspondent for Reuters in Tehran. Previously he was a senior consultant with a leading business consultancy in Iran and also has experience in tourism, food and beverage and packaging industries.

Amir is a Knight-Wallace fellow in journalism from University of Michigan and studied for his MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics.

Pirouzan is a French qualified lawyer and Corporate/M&A Partner at Dentons. He is Head of Dentons Europe Manufacturing and Automotive Sector Group and Head of the West Asia Desk. Pirouzan has over 17 years of experience on emerging markets and economies in transition, in particular in Central Europe where he has advised on some of the most significant transactions in the Retail, Automotive, IT & Banking sectors, between 2004 and 2015. He is regularly ranked as a leading lawyer in M&A by Chambers.

In regards to his Iran related activities, Pirouzan currently advises several companies in relation to their Iranian market (re)entry in sectors that are not subjected to European sanctions.

Pirouzan holds a Master degree in International Business Law from the Paris University and an LL.M from Duke Law School (USA) where he was a Fulbright scholar.

Richard Parris is Head of Energy and Infastructure for Clifford Chance in the Middle East. Richard has advised sponsors, lenders and governments on many high-profile energy and infrastructure projects throughout the Middle East. His Iran experience includes advising on the Unit Group's landmark BOO Energy Conversion Agreements signed with Iran's TPPH in January 2017  (the first major energy contracts signed post –sanctions), advising an IOC on its bid for an upstream Block under the IPC, and advising the lenders to a major infrastructure project in Iran being financed by international banks on a limited recourse basis.

 He has also advised on numerous other conventional and renewable IPPs, IWPs, wastewater projects, petrochemical and infrastructure projects, and privatisations across the Middle East, as well as advising governments on the development of PPP frameworks and legislation.


Paul has been advising companies in the Energy & Natural Resources sector for over 15 years and is co-head of the Clifford Chance global mining group.  He is acknowledged by his clients and peers as having leading expertise in resources law.

Paul has specialist experience advising clients in mining and related infrastructure projects in jurisdictions throughout the world. He regularly advises clients on business critical issues and handles cross-border work for large energy multinationals such as BHP, South 32, Fortescue Metals Group, Eramet and Evraz.

Hamed Sadjedi holds a PhD degree in electrical engineering from AUT in Tehran and is an assistant professor at Shahed University. Based on his extensive research in the area of he medical engineering and his strategic view of new technologies he become a key leader in Iran's innovation ecosystem. Dr. Sadjedi is also CEO of Shenasa, the venture capital arm of Pasargad Financial Group, one of Iran's largest private financial conglomerates. 

Reza Shaybani has been managing private and public technology focused companies in the optical disc manufacturing equipment, semiconductor and solar PV industries for the past 20 years. Since 2006 he has played an active role in the solar PV industry globally as founder and investor in a number of leading companies. In 2010 with a group of major companies with interest in the UK solar PV market (the founding members) Reza formed the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), the National Trade Association of the UK solar PV industry. Reza is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of BPVA, Member of the Management Board of Directors at Quercus Assets Selection SARL, Director of Quercus Investment Partners and Vice President Strategic Projects at Leclanché SA. Reza has an excellent political, industry and financial network globally.


Barbara Slavin is the Acting Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and Washington Correspondent for, a website devoted to news from and about the Middle East. The author of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation (2007), she is a regular commentator on US foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN. A career journalist, Slavin previously served as Assistant Managing Editor for world and national security of the Washington Times, Senior Diplomatic Reporter for USA TODAY, Cairo Correspondent for the Economist, and as an editor at the New York Times Week in Review. She has covered such key foreign policy issues as the US-led war on terrorism, policy toward "rogue" states, the Iran-Iraq war, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. She has traveled to Iran nine times. Slavin also served as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where she wrote Bitter Friends, and as a Senior Fellow at the US Institute of Peace, where she researched and wrote the report Mullahs, Money and Militias: How Iran Exerts Its Influence in the Middle East.

Henry is a director with Control Risks, a global risk management consulting company, in the Middle East. He leads the company’s Iran consultancy services, which focus on helping multinational companies to evaluate political risk and manage compliance challenges. In so doing, Control Risks has supported companies from a broad range of sectors with over 250 consulting engagements over the past two years, providing them with the necessary assurance to execute trade and investment deals in Iran. Henry’s background is political science in the Middle East and North Africa. He holds a first-class bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of York and a postgraduate degree in Middle East politics from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Ulrich von Zanthier is director at KPMG Financial Services, Germany. Before joining KPMG, he was head of risk controlling at a systemically significant bank in Germany. He has been providing consulting services for major financial institutions for more than 20 years. His consulting topics include banking regulation, governance, risk, compliance, and business model analysis. Ulrich has been active in the Iranian market since 2013 and is providing consulting services in Iran since 2016, e.g. by improving risk and compliance methodology. Furthermore, he is advising Iranian banks with establishing branches or subsidiaries in Germany and receiving the corresponding license from German and European banking authorities.

Saideh heads Magnusson’s Middle East Group and her practice consists of corporate law, banking and finance, regulatory compliance and advising on the legal aspects of doing business in Iran. She would be your primary legal advisor in Iran and Middle East more widely. Saideh’s specific Iran related work has included advice relating to joint ventures, commercial agency arrangements and local partner introduction as well as onshore entry advice, incorporation and liaison activity. She also has extensive experience working on issues related to banking and finance in Iran from a regulatory and supervisory perspective. Saideh holds the position as compliance officer for several fund management companies.

Majid Zamani is the founder and CEO of Kian Capital Management. Kian is an investment banking and asset management firm with international reach based in Tehran. Kian offers M&A advisory, underwriting, market making, asset management, and securities trade services to local and international clients. Kian is active in channeling investments for the Iranian market through local and european domiciled funds including private and public equity and fixed income funds as well as advising transactions.

Previously, he co-founded and grew Kardan Investment bank to a prominent position with AUM of USD 1 Bn and multiple financing and M&A deals advised across various industries.

As an investment banker he helped found and raise capital for Sarava in 2012 and since has helped with growing it to be the largest VC fund in Iran. Majid serves as a member of the board of directors as well as investment committee at Sarava.

A previous consultant to the World Bank, Mr. Zamani also worked for AIG in New York and Petroleum Finance Corporation in Washington, DC. He earned an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (2004) and an MPA from Columbia University (2006). He is a graduate of University of Tehran in Electrical Engineering (1997).