(NPR,INN). "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Revealed To Have Jewish Past," The Daily Telegraph reported over the weekend. Not true, says a Middle East analyst who wrote a biography of the Iranian leader. Meir Javedanfar writes in The Guardian that the Ahmadinejad family's previous name -- Sabourjian -- is not, as the Daily Telegraph reported, "a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver."
Professor David Yeroshalmi of Tel Aviv University's Center for Iranian Studies, said that Ahmadinejad's former name of Sabourjian does not come from the Persian word for the talit or Jewish prayer shawl, as claimed in the Telegraph article. He also said that the "-jian" ending to the name is as Muslim as it is Jewish.