Iranian Foreign Minister Sadegh Ghotbzadeh said today that tension between Iran and the United States had eased in recent weeks, improving the climate for resolving their problems.
He told a news conference after returning from a trip to Norway and Sweden that "in the last 1 1/2 months there had been a reduction of tension" and confirmed that he discussed the U.S. hostage issue at a meeting in Oslo of the Socialist International organization.
"Various arguments were put and opinions expressed, but it was agreed that the questions of the hostages cannot be separated from 25 years of United States intervention in Iran," Ghotbzadeh said.
He said the socialist leaders at the meeting "were unanimous in their view that this problem of the hostages must be solved somehow. All of them believed that continuation of this condition will rule out of their defense of the Islamic revolution of Iran."
Meanwhile, about 5,000 Revolutionary Guards marched to the occupied U.S. Embassy here and heard a message from Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the nation's religious and political leader, ordering them to obey President Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr. The message, read by Khomeini's son, Ahmad, also warned that those who broke regulations would be punished.
The ayatollah's message told the guards and thousands of other Iranians present that Bani-Sadr "is my representative, and it is considered an Islamic and religious duty for you to obey his orders, all of you."
In a separate development, a special U.N. envoy left Tehran on his way to New York to report to U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim on his talks with Iranian officials for the past three weeks on the U.S.-Iranian dispute. The envoy, Adib Daoudi of Syria, was a member of a five-man U.N. commission that spent 17 days here earlier this year looking into the dispute.
Ghotbzadeh insisted at his press conference that the commission should now publish a report on Iranan grievances against the United States. He said that although the commission did not see the hostages and they were not transferred to government control as originally agreed, International Red Cross officials later ascertained that all the hostages were alive and in good health.
Ghotbzadeh said the commission's mandate relating to the hostages had thus been carried out.
"Therefore, the function of the commission is to give its report," he said. "We don't even recognize the competence for them to even discuss the hostages any more." He said failure to issue the report would "further diminish" Iranian confidence in the United Nations.
[In New York, a U.N. spokesman said the commission would continue to withhold its report because of its failure to see the American hostages.]
Ghotbzadeh also said he would submit a proposal to the Revolutionary Council in the next few days to consider breaking relations with neighboring Iraq, the official Tehran radio reported.
In recent weeks, violence and unrest have increased in the area along the border between the two countries, particularly in the troubled Kurdish region.
The radio also reported that a group of Iranian soldiers went on trial today for plotting to overthrow the government. The broadcast said the soldiers had planned to arrest commanders in Kurdistan and set up a democratic government there.