BOSTON (CBS) – A Babson professor calls it “a bad attempt at humor.” But Asheen Phansey is now suspended – with pay — for at least appearing to encourage Iran to choose 52 American sites as bombing targets.
It came as a response to President Trump’s own tweet, threatening to attack ancient sites in Iran.
Babson insisted that Phansey’s post on his personal Facebook page does not represent the values of the college.
When an American drone strike killed Iran’s top general last week and a furious Iran threatened retaliation, President Trump warned against it, tweeting that the US had already picked out 52 sites in Iran for destruction should the regime fire back — many of cultural significance.
Trump’s advisors quickly backtracked, pointing out that hitting cultural treasures violated the rules of warfare.
That’s when Babson professor Phansey says he attempted to mock Trump’s misstep with a Facebook post of his own, suggesting tongue-in-cheek that Iran should pick 52 American cultural sites to bomb — like the Kardashians’ homes.
His employer was not amused, saying “Babson College condemns any type of threatening words or actions condoning violence or hate.”
Phansey deleted his post, but the school suspended the American born professor, who himself earned his MBA from Babson.
On Wednesday night, Phansey apologized through his attorney, insisting his post was simply a bad joke.
“I am sorry that my sloppy humor was read as a threat,” he said. “I am completely opposed to violence and would never advocate it by anyone.”
Phansey said he’s especially sorry if he alarmed anyone at his beloved alma mater.
Babson said it’s doing its own investigation, but implied a wider probe is ongoing — saying it is also cooperating with federal authorities.