Adaptation to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress depends on the activation of the sensor inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1), an endoribonuclease that splices the mRNA of the transcription factor XBP1 (X-box-binding protein 1). To better understand the protein network that regulates the activity of the IRE1 pathway, we systematically screened the proteins that interact with IRE1 and identified a ribonuclease inhibitor called ribonuclease/angiogenin inhibitor 1 (RNH1). RNH1 is a leucine-rich repeat domains-containing protein that binds to and inhibits ribonucleases. Immunoprecipitation experiments confirmed this interaction. Docking experiments indicated that RNH1 physically interacts with IRE1 through its cytosolic RNase domain. Upon ER stress, the interaction of RNH1 with IRE1 in the ER increased at the expense of the nuclear pool of RNH1. Inhibition of RNH1 expression using siRNA mediated RNA interference upon ER stress led to an increased splicing activity of XBP1. Modulation of IRE1 RNase activity by RNH1 was recapitulated in a cell-free system, suggesting direct regulation of IRE1 by RNH. We conclude that RNH1 attenuates the activity of IRE1 by interacting with its ribonuclease domain. These findings have implications for understanding the molecular mechanism by which IRE1 signaling is attenuated upon ER stress. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.