Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Ali Rajai named his long-awaited cabinet today but President Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr said he disapproved several choices.
In a clear indication of the intensity of the dispute between the nominal chief of state, Bani-Sadr, and the chief of government he reluctantly accepted, Rajai, the prime minister presented to candidate for the key Defense Ministry.
U.S. officials have held out the hope that appointment of the Council of Ministers, or cabinet, would speed the release of the 52 American hostages who have been held captive almost 10 months.
The speaker of the parliament has said the legislators will spend this week considering and voting on the cabinet appointments, then begin the hostage debate.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of the Islamic state, has ordered the parliament to consider the hostage issue but debate has been postponed repeatedly. Last week, Bani-Sadr spoke out against trials of the hostages -- the course urged by many religious militants in the parliament.
The last Iranian cabinet was headed by Mehdi Bazargan, who resigned as prime minister shortly after the storming of the U.S. Embassy and the hostage-taking last Nov. 4. American officials have maintained that the absence of a government structure in Iran has blocked negotiations for the hostages' release.
After Kajai named his 14 ministerial choices, featuring at least five former political prisoners, in a letter to the parliament, Bani-Sadr told the daily Islamic Revolution:
"The names . . . have not been approved by me. I approve of several members of the cabinet but not of others." He offered no elaboration.
The president was particularly opposed to the selection of newspaper editor Hossein Moussavi as foreign minister, political sources said.
While Bani-Sadr appeared to reject the cabinet, an aide to this popularly elected president said:
"The president has been under pressure. For the benefit of the country we accepted this cabinet, but he's not optimistic about its future."
Moussavi, 39, has no experience in office. He is a member of the fundamentalist Islamic Republican Party and edits the party daily Islamic Republic. He succeeds Sadegh Ghotbzadeh who, with outgoing Oil Minister Ali Akbar Moinfar, is the best-known casualty of the former interim cabinet.
Several of the nominees are members of the Islamic Republican Party that dominates the parliament and opposes Bani-Sadr. It favored appointment of Rajai, considered close to the party.
A 27-year-old, Asghar Ibrahimi, takes charge of Iran's crucial oil industry. Ibrahami, the youngest member of a cabinet with an average age of 37, is one of five proposed ministers who were educated at American universities. He served in prison for anti-shah activities before the February 1979 revolution.
Rajai's choice as information minister, Abbas Douzdouzani, spent over five years in jail and was accused of trying to assassinate the shah in 1967.
One of two proposed commerce ministers, Seyyed Assadollah Lajvardi, helped slow up the Tehran office of Sirael's airline El Al during the shah's reign, the official Pars news agency said. He allegedly was tortured by the SAVAK secret police, suffering damaged eyesight.
The legislators are to decide in their vote whether to accept Lajvardi or the current commerce minister, Reza Sadr. According to Pars, the other candidates are:
Mahmud Qandi, minister of post, telegraph and telephone, who received a doctorate in electronics from the University of California and was active in student Islamic associations in Iran and abroad.
Musa Kalantari, minister of roads and transport, a civil engineer said to have been "involved in the armed campaign by militant clergymen" against the shah.
Hasan Abbaspur, minister of energy, who received a doctorate in the planning and administration of energy systems from London University. Recently he was director of an inspection group of the Islamic Republican Party.
Mohammed Reza Nematzadch minister of industries and mines, who studied mechanical engineering at the University of California. He is said to have "cooperated" with the Islamic party but is described as a political independent.
Mohammed Norbakhsh, minister of economics and financial affairs, who is said to have been active in Islamic student associations while studying in the United States. He is now said to be formulating a plan to combat unemployment.
Dr. Hasan Arefi, minister of science and higher education, who studied pediatrics and cardiology in the United States. He was among specialists who treated Khomeini for his heart condition and served as chancellor at Tehran University.
Dr. Hadi Manafi, minister of health.
Mohammed Salamati, minister of agriculture.
Ahmad Tavakkoli, minister of labor and social affairs.
Mohammed Reza Mahdavi Kani, minister of interior.
In addition, Rajai nominated four ministers of state in the following areas:
Economic planning, Sayed Esmael Davudi; welfare, Mohammed Ali Fayazbakhsh; administration, Behzad Nabavi; housing, Mohammed Shahab Gonabadi.
Rajai and Bani-Sadr have decided to appoint a defense minister at a later date, the prime minister noted in his letter to parliament.
In another development, British press reports said two foreign journalists were freed in Tehran after 17 days of detention. Two men, who were forbidden to leave Iran, were Tony Allaway of the Times of London and Ralph Joseph, a Pakistani reporter, the reports said.