The Soviet Union's failure to adhere to the Helsinki agreements on human rights raises concern about whether the Soviets would comply with new strategic arms agreement, a senior State Department official said yesterday.
Patricia Derian, the department's coordinator of human rights, said that Helsinki and strategic arms limitation talks (SALT) are bound up together in some ways and that they "test the seriousness of people's willingness to live by their commitments."
She spoke to the leadership conference of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry at the International Inn two days before the opening in Belgrade of a meeting to set an agenda for a full examination next fall of the implementation of the Helsinki terms.
Derian said the United States expects "a simple accounting" at the Belgrade meeting and is prepared to discuss U.S. faults.
In an apparent allusion to unofficial reports that the SOviet Union may not stay in Belgrade as long as some other nations believe necessary, Derian said the United States would "see it through."
Derian assured the conference that the Carter administration is not backing away from its strong support of human rights. "It is a clear goal," she said.
A prepared remark that she did not read - concerning the 1975 Helsinki agreements on greater freedom of emigration, human contacts, information, religion and cultural observances - spelled out in more detail the possible linkage of Helsinki and SALT:
"Can we Americans, in government, Congress and the public, have confidence that Moscow will live up to SALT if they continue to flout" Helsinki?
Before addressing the meeting, Derian met privately with Natalya Scharansky, whose husband Anatoli is imprisoned in the Soviet Union facing charges of treason.
Mrs. Scharansky had asked Sunday to see President Carter, but Derian said that request did not come up yesterday.
Carter told his press conference yesterday that he had no plans to see Mrs. Scharansky, but that an inquiry he had ordered determined that her husband never had any contact with the Central Intelligence Agency, contrary to allegations made by Moscow.
It was not clear why Carter did not want to receive Mrs. Scharansky.
He angered Moscow early in his presidency by replying to a letter from dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov and meeting with dissident Vladimir Bukovsky.
Carter later received a second letter from Sakharov which he decided not to answer.
Derian's pledge of Carter administration support for those being deprived by human rights everywhere was followed by a plea for American Jewish organizations to refrain from supporting non-Jewish Soviet dissidents.
Yoram Dinstein, an Israeli expert in Soviet affairs who is a visiting professor at the University of Toronto, said that supporters who would blur the lines dividing non-Jewish dissidents from Soviet Jews did a disservice to both movements.
Dinstein said anti-Semitism is endemic in the Soviet Union, and predicted that non-Jewish Russian dissidents of the character of author Alexander Solzhenitsyn would not support physicist Sakharov if they believed he was influenced by Jews.
He noted that anti-Semitic television programs, books and articles have been produced in growing numbers recently in the Soviet Union and that the official press has recently characterized the dissident movement as a conspiracy with Jews and the CIA.
Stanley H. Lowell, the immediate past chairman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, disputed Dinstein.
Lowell argued that the Jewish community should support human rights causes across the board.
"We're proud to have a President who has a moral base for his foreign policy. We can't do do anything but join in," he said.