Jordan's King Hussein, after meeting with President Carter in Tehran yesterday, said he would be willing eventually to join Egyptian-Israeli talks if they showed promise of Israeli Premier Manahen Begin's recent proposals as "shocking and very distressing."
Hussein said Begin's plan for limited Palestinian self-rule on the West Bank does not match "in any form or weight the very courageous initiative of President Sadat."
Anything short of Israeli return of all occupied land seized during the 1967 war, Hussein said, would mean Arab compromise of the rights of Palestinians, which would be "almost impossible for us to do."
In a television interview from Tehran, broadcast over "Face the Nation" on CBS, Hussein said Israeli failure to reciprocate "in kind" to Sadat's peace gesture in going to Jerusalem could mean "total disaster" in that area.
"If President Sadat's initiative does not meet with success because of Israeli intransigence," Hussein said, "the result will be terrible . . . Anyone who has sought lasting peace in the area will be discredited."
Hussein said repeatedly that the Palestinians must be free to decide for themselves what kind of political structure they want. He said there are many ties between Jordan and the Palestinians, and these ties may continue to grow stronger. He said, however, that it is not right for either Begin or himself to decide what those ties should be.
He said Begin's statements about the future of the West Bank "make it extremely difficult to see where we would fit in" the peace talks and he called for withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank as soon as it is practical.
Admitting that Sadat's initiative caught him by surprise. Hussein said no one could know now whether in the end it will have speeded a peaceful solution to the Middle East problems. He said that when he thinks Jordan can act "in a constructive way, we will not hesitate."