VENICE, JUNE 7 -- White House chief of staff Howard H. Baker Jr. said today that U.S. and Soviet officials have discussed "a range of dates" for a prospective meeting in Washington between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev later this year.

Answering questions from reporters, Baker said "I think there's a good chance there will be a summit yet this year" if U.S. and Soviet negotiators reach an expected agreement on an accord to eliminate medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe.

Also, three high-ranking Reagan administration officials strongly implied that the United States may be ready to lift some of the sanctions imposed on $300 million worth of Japanese electronics exports to the United States because Japan is now showing signs of abiding by an agreement barring the "dumping" of semiconductors.

Although the issue is not expected to be fully resolved during the 13th annual economic summit of seven industrialized nations, which is to open here Monday, Reagan could reveal U.S. intentions to relax sanctions after a meeting on Monday with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials continued to warn Iran not to interfere with navigation in the Persian Gulf and particularly not to use Chinese Silkworm missiles against U.S. ships or any oil tankers they escort.

National security adviser Frank C. Carlucci said it would be "inadvisable" for Iran to try to prevent U.S. ships from escorting tankers through the Strait of Hormuz. "U.S. ships are prepared to defend themselves," Carlucci said. "They are prepared to defend the ships they are escorting and it would not bode well if they were to interfere."

Carlucci refused to speculate on the military options. The Washington Post reported last week that one of the military options being debated was a preemptive strike against the missiles. Senior officials did not contradict the report but said Reagan had not approved any option yet and that a preemptive strike was unlikely.

{In Washington, officials said Adm. William J. Crowe, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a closed session of the Senate Armed Services Committee Friday that he opposes a preemptive strike against the Silkworms and doubts that Iran would fire them against ships flying the U.S. flag. Story, Page A5}

On the CBS program "Face the Nation," Baker said that U.S. ships are operating in the gulf to protect shipping "and the Iranians have nothing to fear from us."

"We have a great deal to fear from them, if they deploy those {Silkworm} missiles," Baker added. "And it's my hope that the Iranians will decide that it's not worth it to deploy those missiles and run the risk of retaliation."

Baker said the U.S. decision to put U.S. flags on 11 Kuwaiti tankers and protect them with an American convoy was not "irreversible" but that "my own feeling is that it should not be terminated as long as the Kuwaitis want it and as long as the Soviets are still playing in this game."

In an interview with Cable News Network, Carlucci also discussed the possibility of a Reagan-Gorbachev summit. He refused to speculate on a summit in October, which officials have mentioned as a possible target, but said that if there is an accord on the medium-range missiles "something in the fall sounds reasonable."

Carlucci said there are still "some difficult questions such as verification" to be resolved on the draft treaty but said, "We've gotten far enough on substance so there is some general discussion on dates."

In the economic field, diplomatic sources said, the United States and Canada are resisting West German efforts to hedge an earlier agreement to reduce global agricultural subsidies. These sources said that since the Paris meeting last month of key financial ministers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the West Germans have backed away from language aimed at reducing "excessive" farm supports.

Hints of relaxing the sanctions imposed on Japanese trade came in separate television interviews by Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III, Howard Baker and Carlucci. The three officials said that the data on semiconductor dumping did not justify the complete lifting of sanctions.

But James Baker said on ABC television that there has been "marked improvement" in the Japanese performance in one area, D-RAM chips, the mass-produced basic memory chip. The treasury secretary said the improvement is reflected by what he called a rise in the U.S. share of world sales of such chips to about 80 percent from 60 percent.

On CBS, Howard Baker said that Reagan "has already indicated" he favors lifting the sanctions "as soon as the data justifies it." "I would not be surprised" by an announcement on semiconductors, Baker said. "But I expect the issue will not be finally determined at this conference."

Interviewed later on CNN's "Evans and Novak," Baker said he did not want to prejudge what the president might do but added, "I feel confident that he won't lift the sanctions except as and when there is marked improvement. There is marked improvement in this one area."