The editor of an Arabic daily newspaper published in London said in an interview on Lebanese television that he would dance in Trafalgar Square if Iranian missiles hit Israel.
Talking about Iran's nuclear capability on ANB Lebanese television on June 27, Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, said, "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight."
In the interview, Bari Atwan was asked if he thought there is a process of dÃ©tente [vis-Ã -vis Iran] and an American-Iranian inclination to reach a deal on Iran's nuclear ambitions.
"If there is a deal, it will be at the expense of the Arabs and if there is a war, it will also be at the expense of the Arabs," he responded. "I'm sad to say that we have no backbone now. If Iran reaches a deal with the Americans, what will be the bottom line? That Iran will have a nuclear program, and even if it does not manufacture nuclear weapons in the next 5-10 years, it will do so later."
"One of the fruits of such a deal would be a significant Iranian role in the region. Iran will remain a regional military power, which will threaten, or rather, will control and have hegemony over the region.
"If a war breaks out, where will the Iranians retaliate? If Iran is able to retaliate, it will burn the oil wells, block the Strait of Hormuz, attack the American bases in the Gulf and, Allah willing, it will attack Israel, as well," Bari Atwan continued.
Bari Atwan founded the pan-Arab daily in London in 1989, and today the paper has a circulation of around 50,000. He is also a regular commentator on Sky News and BBC News 24.
Sky News refused to comment specifically on his comments.
"It is not our policy to comment on what contributors may or may not say on other channels," said Adrian Wells, head of foreign news at Sky.
A BBC spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that editors make decisions based on the following BBC guidelines.
"We should not automatically assume that academics and journalists from other organizations are impartial and make it clear to our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint."
"The BBC is required to explore a range of views, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or underrepresented."
"The BBC will sometimes need to report on or interview people whose views may cause serious offense to many in our audiences. We must be convinced, after appropriate referral, that a clear public interest outweighs the possible offense."
"We [the BBC] must rigorously test contributors expressing contentious views during an interview."