The State Department said yesterday that, while President Carter intends to keep President-elect Ronald Reagan "fully informed" of developments in the Iranian hostage situation, Tuesday's election results will not affect the current administration's drive to free the 52 captive Americans.
The department made that point in the wake of speculation that Reagan's landslide victory could cause political and procedural problems that would delay efforts to satisfy Iran's conditions for release of the hostages.
Specially, the election results have raised questions about whether Iranian leaders will want to deal with the lameduck Carter presidency and whether Carter, in seeking a resolution, might make concessions that Reagan would be unwilling to honor after he takes office Jan. 20.
For president Gerald Ford suggested yesterday that Carter should get together with Reagan and the congressional leadership to forge a bipartisan approach to dealing with the hostage situation.
In Los Angeles, Edwin Meese Reagan's chief of staff, said the president-elect will work with Carter during the transition period to develop a plan on the hostage issue that is acceptable to both adminstrations. Meese said it was uncertain how such a cooperative relationship would be fashioned.
Carter administration officials said they had no direct information from the Reagan camp on suggested spokesman John Trattner said the outgoing administration will keep Reagan and his team "fully informed on how we proceed" but added "the adminstration in power remains in charge until the chargeover."
Other adminstration officials said privately that the Reagan camp has been kept briefed on developments since the hostage situation began coming to a head more than two weeks ago and that these briefings will continue during the transition period. If Carter plans to do something with which Reagan might not agree, the officials said, the president-elect will have ample opportunity to make his objections known.
The officials also said they had no reason to believe that the Iranians will use the election results as an excuse for scuttling efforts to end the hostage impasse. Iran, they noted, has strong reasons of its own for wanting to resolve the situation and probably feels it can conclude a deal under better terms now than by waiting until Reagan is inaugurated.
In broad outline, the Iranian conditions call for the United States to promise not to interfere in Iran's affairs, to free Iranian assets frozen in this country, to drop all American claims against Iran and to return the wealth of the late shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Algeria has been designated by the Iranian government as a go-between to the United States on the hostage issue. In an attempt to clarify how the North African country will play that role, Algerian Ambassador to Washington Redha Malek met with senior State Department officials yesterday for the fourth time in three days.
Adminstration officials said a definition of the role of Algeria is the next practical step in the U.S. drive to reach agreement with Iran. This is particularly important, the sources said, because it is increasingly apparent that Iran is not now willing to undertake direct discussions with the United States.
By the time a channel and framwork for discussion with Iran can be established, the United States hopes to be ready for substantive exchanges on the details of Iran's conditions, sources said.
Carter, speaking with reporters yesterday, said he had discussed the situation in a long meeting with his national security affairs adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Secretary of State Edmund S. Muskie. Carter said the adminstration will continue to work for the earliest possible release of the hostages through an agreement consistent with U.S. honor and national interest.
The reactions of a dozen hostage families who were contacted yesterday ranged from delight over Reagan's election to a belief that Carter's defeat need not delay release of the captives. None expressed much concern that the election outcome would have unpredictable effects on the hostage situation.