MOSCOW, JULY 28 -- Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Yuli Vorontsov is planning another round of visits to Tehran and Baghdad shortly, maintaining the Soviet Union's high-profile diplomatic presence in Iran and Iraq, the two warring Persian Gulf states.
Vorontsov's tour, announced today by the Foreign Ministry, shows an acceleration in the developing contacts between Iran and the Soviet Union.
Vorontsov was in Tehran last month and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Larijani was in Moscow earlier this month. According to western diplomatic sources, a visit to Tehran by Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze this year is under discussion. The announcement of Vorontsov's trip came as the Soviet Union accused the United States of failing to live up to the spirit of a recent United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire, military restraint, and a return to pre-war boundaries.
"U.S. representatives were among those members of the Security Council who drafted this major political document," the statement said. "However, the current show of strength undertaken by the American administration in the gulf is clearly at variance with the call by the Security Council."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennadi Gerasimov today said the Vorontsov trip was not being conducted under U.N. auspices, and that its purpose was "autonomous." However, he said Vorontsov would discuss the implementation of the July 20 U.N. resolution in both capitals.
U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar is attempting to win Iran's acceptance of the resolution.
Western diplomats here note that Moscow is now emphasizing its renewed contacts with Iran, which have been developing since the visit here in February by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati.
As Iran's relations with western countries continue to deteriorate, Moscow's dialogue with Tehran has given the Soviet Union added influence in the Persian Gulf. Western diplomats here say that during recent visits, the two sides also discussed improving their economic as well as political ties.
"Iran is clearly interested in making sure its trade lines to the north are in reasonable order to avoid complete isolation, and the Soviet Union is interested in portraying itself as the only superpower that has a dialogue on both sides in the gulf war," noted one western envoy.
According to recent published reports, Iran has approached the Soviet Union on the feasibility of exporting crude oil through Soviet territory to reduce dependence on shipping routes through the Persian Gulf.
In pursuing relations with Iran, the Soviet Union has been careful to tend its relationship with Iraq, one of its major arms customers and oldest allies among the Arab states. On his last trip, Vorontsov stopped in Baghdad and Tehran.