Iran's first postrevolution Majlis (parliament) opened Wednesday in solemn Islamic ceremony and was immediately told not to sell out to the United States over the Americans held hostage in the country for 207 days.
The warning came in a message to the new deputies from the Islamic militants holding the captives, broadcast on state radio, urging them to scorn American threats. But the militants said they would bow to a decision by the deputies, entrusted by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini with setting terms for the hostages' release.
The 270-member Majlis, 36 of whose members have still to be elected because of regional unrest and electoral disputes, is unlikely to debate the hostage issue for several weeks. It must first choose a speaker, draw up procedural rules, and approve a new government.
There was no mention of the hostages during the largely ceremonial three-hour inaugural session.
Ayatollah Khomeini sent a message to the deputies, read to the assembly by his son, Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini, urging them to cooperate with one another and refrain from damaging disputes.
President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, in a lengthy review of the country's problems , told parliament the economy was in a grave state because of its dependence on foreign domination.
"We cannot sacrifice our independence for a false welfare to meet urgent demands," the president said."I have no doubt that our people can stand more deprivation, provided that preparations are made for the achievement of economic independence."