BEIRUT, JUNE 13 -- The weekly Lebanese magazine that first broke the U.S.-Iran arms-for-hostages deal reported today that some of the Americans kidnaped in Lebanon have been moved to Iran, where they are being interrogated amid demands from government hard-liners to put them on public trial.

Ash Shiraa, quoting sources close to Hussein Ali Montazeri, the man selected to succeed religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has been carrying news items on the foreign hostage crisis in Lebanon ever since it exposed details of a visit by former U.S. national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane to Iran last year.

The publication said Montazeri, who leads a powerful anti-American faction in Iran, was demanding that "the American hostages . . . be brought to trial, especially since some of them have been taken to Iran."

Such a demand, if true, would indicate that the radical wing of Iran's leadership, represented by Montazeri, is further challenging the line of the middle-of-the-road speaker of Parliament, Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Ash Shiraa's report follows a period of prolonged silence on the fate of the hostages and coincides with renewed friction between the United States and Iran over U.S. moves to increase its military presence in the Persian Gulf.

Iran has repeatedly warned against such moves. The report made no direct link, however, between the alleged transfer of the hostages and the U.S. moves in the gulf.

{In Washington, State Department spokesman Pete Martinez said the U.S. government had no information to substantiate the Ash Shiraa report, but if it proved true, the United States "would consider it a matter of utmost gravity and would hold the Iranian government directly responsible for the safety and well-being of the hostages," Washington Post staff writer David B. Ottaway reported.

{"The hostages are not criminals but innocent victims. The terrorist kidnapers are those who should be facing trial," Martinez said.

{Other U.S. officials said they doubted the veracity of the report because the American hostages are believed to be held in Beirut's southern suburbs.

{The suburbs have been virtually surrounded by Syrian troops since they moved into Beirut last February. The officials said the Syrians would almost certainly seize the hostages if an attempt were made to transfer them out of Beirut, Ottaway reported.}

Syrian soldiers, who entered west Beirut to halt battles between rival Moslem militias there, have yet to enter the southern suburbs, reportedly because of tensions that developed between Syria and Iran during the deployment.

Hassan Sabra, the editor and publisher of Ash Shiraa, told Reuter tonight that the American hostages "were transferred to Iran some months ago and definitely before the deployment of Syrian troops in west Beirut." He was quoted as saying the hostages were moved "as a means of pressure against the United States."

Ash Shiraa reported 10 days ago that Khomeini had formed a top-level committee to settle the foreign hostages dilemma once and for all.

The magazine indicated that Montazeri and his camp have rejected the views of the committee, which is said to include Iranian President Ali Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Khomeini's son, Ahmed, and the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rida.

Sabra told Independent World Television News today that the public trial would take place in three months if Montazeri has his way.

Sabra has repeatedly said that Iran is the pivot to the hostage situation in Lebanon, and the key to a solution, he said, was "money and arms."

Sabra said in the television interview that neither the United States nor Iran wanted third parties to become involved in their trading arrangements.

He would not say if the public trial being sought by Montazeri's followers could mean death for the hostages.

Rafsanjani has said in recent months that Iran was prepared to help free the hostages if the United States released Iranian assets that were frozen by Washington in retaliation for the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

The United States last month transferred to Iran $451 million out of an estimated $3.6 billion in frozen assets after a decision by a special tribunal in The Hague established to settle U.S. and Iranian claims against each other.

In the latest edition of Ash Shiraa, which appears on the newsstands Monday, the Lebanese weekly says that some of the American kidnap victims are "actually in Iran and are under severe interrogation . . . ."

The Iranian Embassy in Beirut, controlled by followers of Rafsanjani, denied the report.

Last month, the embassy denied an Ash Shiraa report about the alleged kidnaping of an Iranian national, whom the weekly described as an arms buyer for the embassy.

Ash Shiraa reported that a Lebanese militia had seized the Iranian in order to exchange him for missing Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite.

Waite vanished on Jan. 20 while on his way to a secret meeting with the kidnapers of at least two Americans abducted in Beirut. No group has claimed responsibility for Waite's disappearance.

Al Ittihad, a semiofficial newspaper in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates reported today that Waite has been taken to Iran twice for talks with officials there, but it did not say whether the British church envoy was still there.