Iran's foreign minister said today the government will form an international tribunal to review "the crimes of the U.S. government in Iran" and added that "spies" who worked at the American Embassy here would be displayed before that tribunal.
The strident tone of today's announcement by Foreign Minister Sadegh Ghotbzadeh contrasted markedly with the more conciliatory remarks he made at a press conference Friday, when he promised that diplomats held hostage in the U.S. Embassy who are not spies will be released as soon as possible.
Significantly, Ghotbzadeh's more conciliatory remarks were neither carried in the Persian-language press here nor broadcast by the state radio or television stations.
His much harsher statement today, however, was given full publicity in the papers, and copies of it were distributed to correspondents.
Today's statement marks a departure from previous Iranian pronouncements that the alleged spies would be tried by Islamic revolutionary courts.
Ghotbzadeh said today that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had determined that "the crimes of the American government against our Moslem people in Iran should be revealed to the world."
To do this, Ghotbzadeh said Iran will form a commission of anti-imperialists and anti-Zionists to look into "U.S. crimes in Iran" since a CIA-backed coup in 1953 overthrew the government of Mohammed Mossadegh and returned the exiled shah to power.
"The spies who have introduced themselves as diplomats" will be brought before the tribunal, Ghotbzadeh said, and be displayed "to the people of the world"--indicating the possibility of a show trial for at least some of the 50 hostages who have been held at the U.s. Embassy here for the last 35 days.
Broadcast journalists in Washington quoted President Carter as having said at a background briefing Saturday that he did not look favorably on the idea of an international tribunal with powers to investigate accusations against the shah or against the U.S. hostages in Tehran.
[A State Department spokesman immediately said any such international commission would be a "mockery" and a "flagrant violation" of international law and religious principle.]
So far radical students holding the embassy have produced documents that they say prove that three persons in the embassy used diplomatic covers for CIA activity.
Continuing the hard-line approach, the radicals said tonight that the majority of the hostages were engaged directly or indirectly as spies.
"But they are all guilty," a student spokesman said during an interview with Romanian television. "None of them will be released."
Ghotbzadeh said Iran is determined to track down officials of the previous government of the shah "through legal means, wherever they may be."
He also promised an amnesty of some sort for former officials who voluntarily return to Iran, give information on crimes of the shah's government and "regret their actions at the court of the people."
These former officials, he said, "will benefit from the imam's [Khomeini's] utmost forgiveness and affection."
But another Islamic leader here, Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali, self-proclaimed head of the revolutionary courts, said the assassination of the shah's nephew in Paris Friday "is a warning to America. If it does not extradite the shah, these assassinations may extend to the area of the White House."
Khalkhali has in the past threatened to send "hit squads" after the shah and today said his group, Fedayan-e-Islam, had killed the nephew of the shah.
In Tabriz, meanwhile, residents of the predominantly Turkish-speaking northwestern province of Azerbaijan today prevented the governor general, Nureddin Gharavi, from returning to his office, which had been seized by local students Thursday night. Gharavi's attempt to get back in his office drew a sharp reaction from Ayatollah Kazem Shariatmadari, the popular Moslem leader of Azerbaijan, Iran's most populous province.
Shariatmadari said Gharavi's action broke an agreement with Khomeini. If such actions continue, Shariatmadari said, "I cannot be responsible for the consequences." He reminded Khomeini of full-scale war that Kurds have fought with Iranian authorities for their autonomy.
Indicative of the resentment that residents of Azerbaijan hold for Khomeini and the central government, they blocked a march by 3,000 Khomeini supporters and shouted, "Shariatmadari rules here."
Their anger rose again when they heard the state radio report that 100,000 persons took part in a pro-Khomeini march.
Tonight, unidentified men raided the Tehran offices of a political party allied with Shariatmadari -- the Radical Movement headed by Rahmatollah Moghaddam-Maraghei -- and sacked the building.
Moghaddam-Maraghei, Azerbaijan's representative on Iran's council of experts, went into hiding after the raid, sources reported.
Later tonight, there was an announcement on television that evidence of CIA spying had been found in the Radical Movement offices.Khomeini and the official radio and television network have been blaming the last four days of unrest in Tabriz on the United States and the CIA. The United States has denied categorically any such involvement.
In other developments, two groups of Americans who voiced their support for the seizure of the hostages in the U.S. Embassy here showed up in Tehran today.
One group of six plans to spend the next week seeing government officials, the students holding the embassy and possibly Khomeini and the hostages. But they said their "first official act" was to hold a press conference in which they approved of the seizure of the embassy and the holding of hostages as being justified because of the massive crimes of the shah.
"The whole issue of the hostages and the question of extradition would not have arisen had the United States not allowed the shah into the country knowing full well what the consequences would be," said Franklin Glenn, a Los Angeles attorney who has defended a number of alleged political prisoners.
"The wrath of the Iranian people is a very justified wrath," added Lisa Radcliffe, a student from Berkeley, Calif.
Other members of the group are Clark Kissinger, a Chicago electrician who said he was active in the 1960s student movement against the Vietnam War; Carol Downer, director of the Feminist Women's Health Center in Los Angeles; Rebecca Chalker, a health worker and writer from Tallahassee, Fla., and Los Angeles, and Fred Hanks, an auto worker from Detroit who is a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and who was among those arrested for hanging out a banner from the Washington Monument saying, "U.S. Imperialism Get Your Bloody Hands Off Iran."
The other group, two University of Kansas Professors, Clarence Dillingham and Norman Forer, visited the students at the embassy today but were not allowed to see the hostages. They said they had visited Iran when the shah was in power to help dissident groups here.