US professor fired for Facebook post about Iran attack on US cultural sites


The post, which has since been deleted, was subject to a ‘prompt and thorough investigation’ by Babson College, also Asheen Phansey’s alma mater.

Asheen Phansey called it a “bad attempt at humour”, but the US college professor has been fired for his Facebook post encouraging Iran to choose 52 American sites as bombing targets.

The remarks made by the professor at Babson College in Massachusetts were in response to US President Donald Trump’s recent tweet saying the US had earmarked 52 Iranian cultural sites for destruction, warning Tehran not to strike back after an American drone killed Iran’s top general Qassem Suleimani.

Phansey, an adjunct professor and the director of sustainability, suggested that Iran’s supreme leader might want to do the same ― and get specific.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “should tweet a list of 52 sites of cultural American heritage that he would bomb … Um … Mall of America? … Kardashian residence?” he wrote on his Facebook page earlier this week.

The post, which has since been deleted, was subject to a “prompt and thorough investigation” by Babson College, also Phansey’s alma mater.

The college said Phansey was fired because the post on his “personal Facebook page does not represent the values and culture of the College”.

“Based on the results of the investigation, the staff member is no longer a Babson College employee. As we have previously stated, Babson College condemns any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate,” Boston-based news outlet WBZ television reported.

Phansey released a statement on Thursday, saying he was “disappointed and saddened” that the college had decided to abruptly terminate his 15-year relationship with it “just because people willfully misinterpreted a joke”.

He called his post, which appeared to encourage Iran to choose 52 American sites as bombing targets, “a bad attempt at humour”.

“I am really concerned about what this portends for our ability as Americans to engage in political discourse without presuming the worst about each other,” he said.

Phansey has also apologised through his attorney, insisting his post was simply a bad joke.

“I am sorry that my sloppy humour was read as a threat,” he said.