A spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister’s office said Olmert did not threaten Iran with missile attack on its nuclear facilities, as reported today by German magazine Focus.
The Israeli spokesman said that Olmert did not actually have a formal interview with the magazine, and had only given a background briefing to its reporter and was speaking off the record. The reporter in question is Amir Taheri, an Iranian-born journalist. Taheri and Olmert had apparently held a 35-minute-long conversation.
Taheri is quoted by the Israeli prime minister spokesman as saying that there had been a misunderstanding between the prime minister and himself, who had been under the impression that he was indeed conducting an interview.
Speaking off the record, however, is at times as important as a formal interview. The Israeli premier’s description of a possible missile attack on Iran remains as dangerous even if it was made off the record.