Iran today demanded the death sentence for Amir Abbas Hoveyda, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's prime minster for 13 years, in the first publicized trial since the new revolutionary Islamic government took over.
Previously, trials by Iran's revolutionary tribunals were made known after sentences -- often death by firing squad -- had been carried out.
Hoveyda was charged with 16 offenses, including corruption, antireligious activity, following the interests and dictates of the United States and Bitain, surrendering Iran's resources to foreigners and turning the country into a consumer market for foreign goods. There were no allegations of causing bloodshed.
There is already a rising chorus of international appeals in Hoveyda's favor. The announcement of his trial followed a televised speech last night in which Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan called the series of summary trials by Islamic revolutionary courts without juries and the subsequent secret executions a disgrace that was tarnishing the image of the revolution abroad.
After almost daily word of such executions, none was announced today after the prime minister's speech that implicitly called upon the revolution's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to stop lending such trials his moral authority.
Hoveyda is the most important member of the shah's government known to be in custody. His trial, the first known to have lasted more than a day, is being held at the Qasr Prison, where the government is holding 100 top prisoners.
The other prisoners who have been executed after trials all over the country have not been in the direct custody of the central government.
Unlike the trials that Bazargan complained about, Hoveyda's is clearly being held under government control. It is semipublic, with an audience of about 200, apparently mostly families of prison officials and invited representatives of the Persian-language press.
Hoveyda originally was arrested under the shah last fall in what it is now clear had been a desperate attempt to mollify opponents of the government. The arrest of the shah's faithful servant of many years was widely seen as the clearest sign that the shah recognized how deeply in trouble he was.
The revolutionary government reportedly considered televising the Hoveyda trial but, sources said, this was decided against when it was realized how highly political the trial would have to be. There are rumors circulating in Tehran that the government may be willing to let Hoveyda save his head in exchange for testimony damaging to the shah.
Karim Lahiji, a prominent Iranian civil rights attorney, visited Qasr Prison and reported afterwards that the prisoners, including Hoveyda, expressed satisfaction with the conditions there.
Iranian reporters said that Hoveyda was brought into the courtroom at almost 1 a.m. They said Hoveyda looked as if he had been aroused from his bed and acted surprised to see that he was about to appear before a court.
The newspaper Kahyan said that the presiding judge explained that "day or night made no difference for the court, because this was a revolutionary court."
Among other things, Hoveyda vehemently denied charges that he is a member of Bahai, a religious sect viewed here as heretical. It has been subjected to severe prosecution in Iran. Hoveyda said that he is a good Moslem and had even made the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Other specific counts included following the interests and dictates of the United States and Britain, surrendering Iran's resources to foreigners and turning the country into a consumer market for foreign goods.
Hoveyda was accused of spying "for the West and Zionism" and surrendering Iran's sovereignty by allowing extraterritorial justice to Americans. The most specific charge was "direct participation" in smuggling heroin into France.
Meanwhile, the government began a crackdown against foreigners taking part in te recent demonstrations against various aspects of its policies. Ralph Schoenman, an American leftist activist, was expelled and put on a flight to London. Vice Premier Amir Entezam, the chief government spokesman, said Schoenman was a CIA agent.
The spokesman also said that Kate Millett, the American feminist who has been participating in this past week's demonstrations here against restrictions on women's rights, would also "definitely" be expelled. She could not be found at her hotel, and her friends here professed to be unaware of her whereabouts.
[In New York, 1,000 American women sympathetic to Iran's newly vocal women's rights movement staged a demonstration, news services reported. They were led by leading feminists such as Bella Abzug, Betty Frieden and Florence Kennedy.]
In another action, the government seemed to be moving toward establishing censorship of foreign reporting of Iran. Entezam said that all films and photographs sent out of the country would have to be seen first by government represetatives in the Ministry of Information. Films judged to be damaging to the revolution will not be permitted to leave the country.
On Saturday, what American television newsmen here described as an exceptionally good connection to send film via satellite inexplicably was cut off about 20 seconds after the start of a sequence on a women's demonstration.
Some ABC videotapes were not allowed out of the country yesterday but today, after the government announced the new restrictions, there was no interference with a satellite transmission used by all three U.S. networks. Today, they all sent the materials they had been prevented from transmitting on Saturday as well.