Mehdi Bazargan, 87, who served as Iran's first prime minister after the 1979 Islamic revolution, died Jan. 20 at a hospital in Bern, Switzerland. He had a heart ailment.

In February 1979, he was appointed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to head the provisional government that replaced the ousted monarchy. He resigned as premier after nine months when Khomeini endorsed the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, in which 52 Americans were taken hostage for 444 days.

Mr. Bazargan evolved from one of the staunchest supporters of Khomeini and the revolution he led to one of the harshest critics. After the revolution, the Freedom Movement, which he founded in 1961, was tolerated, although its members were harassed, until the government outlawed it in 1990.

It persisted in the form of a spinoff, the Society for the Defense of Freedom, until September 1991, when eight of the society's members or sympathizers -- including former government ministers -- were imprisoned after secret trials for treason.

At a time when the country's new clerical rulers propounded "revolutionary justice" in which thousands were summarily executed, Mr. Bazargan appealed for justice and calm.

In a speech at Tehran University before resigning in November 1979, Mr. Bazargan said: "Don't expect me to act in the manner of {Khomeini}, who, head down, moves ahead like a bulldozer, crushing rocks, roots and stones in his path. I am a delicate passenger car and must ride on a smooth, asphalted road."

The soft-spoken engineer, educator and politician had been a relentless campaigner for democracy and human rights for most of his life. A lively talker, he dressed as a bazaar merchant, wearing an open-neck shirt, a Western-style suit and four days of stubble on his chin, as recommended by Islamic tradition.

Mr. Bazargan was born into a merchant family in the northwest city of Tabriz. He received a degree in thermodynamics from the University of Paris at a time when study abroad was a rare thing for a young Iranian. He returned home in 1942 to teach at Tehran University, where he won a reputation as one of Iran's best mathematicians and was awarded the chair of thermodynamics at the university's Technical College.

When Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh stripped the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. of its assets and nationalized the industry, he dispatched Mr. Bazargan to head the company's operations.

After Mossadegh was ousted, Mr. Bazargan plunged into a tireless campaign to overthrow Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, whom he accused of human rights violations. He was jailed several times, including for a five-year term beginning in 1962. This allied him with Khomeini, who assigned him to direct the oil industry strike in 1978 that crippled the main pillar of Iran's economy.

But as head of the short-lived provisional government, Mr. Bazargan was constantly frustrated. "They have put a knife in my hand, but it is a knife with only a handle. Others are holding the blade," he said in describing his government.

Mr. Bazargan voiced public opposition to the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war at the risk of being branded a traitor by the radical press, and he published a book attacking the clerical monopoly of power. He survived while other opposition leaders were condemned to exile, prison or death. Some people attributed this to Khomeini's respect for him.


Electronic Warfare Specialist

Merwyn C. Bly, 96, a retired Navy Department electronic warfare specialist, died of pneumonia Jan. 17 at Fairfax Hospital.

Mr. Bly, of Fairfax, was born in Rochester, N.Y. He moved to Leesburg as a child and attended the Virginia Military Institute.

During World War I, he was a pilot in the Army Signal Corps.

After the war, he attended what then was the University of New York, then worked in advertising in New York, Tennessee and Florida.

He returned to Leesburg in the mid-1930s to manage Blythview Orchards for his father. In 1940, he began working in the Navy Department's Bureau of Ships, where he helped organize electronic intelligence and countermeasures into what later became known as electronic warfare.

He received a Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 1945 for this work. He retired from the Navy Department in 1966.

In retirement, Mr. Bly was a consultant.

He was a member of Vienna Presbyterian Church.

Survivors include his wife, Vivian Corlew Bly of Fairfax; and a son, Vincent Tuthill Bly II of Springfield.


Obstetrician James A. Dusbabek, 89, an obstetrician and gynecologist who practiced in Washington for 41 years before retiring in 1980, died Jan. 17 at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a heart attack.

Dr. Dusbabek was also a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at George Washington University medical school and an associate in obstetrics and gynecology at George Washington University Hospital. He had served on the staffs of Columbia Hospital for Women, Doctors Hospital, Garfield Hospital and Sibley Memorial Hospital.

For two years, he was president of the Medical Service of D.C., the forerunner of Blue Cross and Blue Shield. He also had served on the organization's board of trustees and as chairman of several committees.

He was born in Michigan, N.D., and graduated from North Dakota State College and George Washington University medical school. He interned at George Washington University Hospital and served residencies in obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia Hospital for Women and at Women's Hospital in New York.

He was a founding fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a fellow and past president of the Washington Gynecology Society and a former honorary vice president of the American Fertility Society.

Dr. Dusbabek was a past member of the Catholic Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Columbia Country Club and the Kiwanis Club of Washington.

A former resident of Chevy Chase, he moved to Naples, Fla., on retirement. At the time of his death, he was living temporarily at the Chevy Chase House Retirement Community.

His wife of 56 years, Margaret Mays Dusbabek, died in 1992. Survivors include three daughters, Sally D. Holloway of Chester, N.J., Barbara D. Simpson of Gaithersburg and Susan D. Levine of Plantation, Fla.; and nine grandchildren.



David L. Barnett, 72, a retired assistant managing editor of U.S. News & World Report who also had worked for the North American Newspaper Alliance and the Hearst Newspapers in Washington, died of cancer Jan. 18 at Mount Vernon Hospital.

Mr. Barnett, a resident of Alexandria, was born in Savannah, Ga. He graduated from Harvard University and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces.

After the war, Mr. Barnett joined the Richmond News Leader in Richmond. In 1954, he moved to Washington to be a correspondent for the North American Newspaper Alliance. The following year he was named Washington bureau chief.

In 1966, Mr. Barnett joined the Washington bureau of the Hearst Newspapers as news editor. In 1968, he went to U.S. News & World Report to write its "Tomorrow" column. He was an assistant managing editor when he retired in 1987.

Mr. Barnett specialized in economic and political reporting. At different times, he covered the White House and Congress, and he covered every presidential campaign from 1956 to 1980. He also contributed articles to the New Republic, the Saturday Evening Post, Look Magazine and other publications.

He was a member of the Gridiron Club, the Harvard Club of Washington, the National Press Club and the Federal City Club.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Jeanne Kahn Barnett of Alexandria; three children, Randel Barnett of Lutherville, Md., and Megan Barnett and Jane Barnett Hanson, both of New York; and three granddaughters.



Dorothy Heinze West, 61, a member of the Junior League of Washington and of the Ki-Wives and a volunteer with Goodwill Industries, died of cancer Jan. 18 at Suburban Hospital.

Mrs. West was a resident of Bethesda. She was born in Chicago and graduated from DePauw University. She moved to Washington in 1955 and worked for the National Association of Broadcasters until 1957, when she married Donald G. West.

In addition to her husband, who lives in Bethesda, survivors include four children, David W. West of Chadds Ford, Pa., Carolyn L. West and Steven H. West, both of Bethesda, and Tyler J. West of Atlanta; a sister, Carol H. Phillips of Melbourne, Fla.; and three grandchildren.