A Massachusetts college professor was suspended for posting a Facebook status encouraging Iran to list 52 American cultural sites that it would bomb, according to new reports.
Asheen Phansey, the director of sustainability at Babson College in Wellesley, shared the since-deleted post — a response to a tweet by President Trump stating that the US had picked out 52 Iranian cultural sites for destruction — on Tuesday.
“In retaliation, Ayatollah Khomenei should tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage that he would bomb,” said the post, first obtained in a screenshot by the website Turtleboysports.com. “Um… Mall of America? Kardashian residence?”
Commenters pointed out that the post was out of line, according to the screenshot.
“No. He shouldn’t,” one wrote.
“I think you ought to be careful lest the FBI come by your place and looking [for] your life and finances,” another chimed in.
In a statement obtained by The Boston Herald, the college said it “immediately suspended” Phansey with pay, and was “cooperating with local, state and federal authorities.”
“Babson College condemns any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate,” the statement said. “This particular post from a staff member on his personal Facebook page clearly does not represent the values and culture of Babson College.”
Phansey apologized for the post in a statement emailed to the Herald.
“I regret my bad attempt at humor,” he told the outlet. “As an American, born and raised, I was trying to juxtapose our ‘cultural sites’ with ancient Iranian churches and mosques. I am completely opposed to violence and would never advocate it by anyone. I am sorry that my sloppy humor was read as a threat. I condemn all acts of violence.”
“I am particularly sorry to cause any harm or alarm for my colleagues at Babson, my beloved alma mater, and the place where I have enjoyed teaching students and serving as its sustainability director,” he added.
When an American drone strike killed Iran’s top general last week and the country threatened retaliation, President Trump warned against it, tweeting over the weekend that the US had already selected 52 Iranian sites for destruction should the regime fire back.
“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian site (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago),” the commander in chief tweeted. “Some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets. and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”