MOSCOW, OCT. 5 -- Leaders of a conservative faction in the Soviet legislature denounced Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze today for hinting that Moscow is ready to join a United Nations military action against Iraq if Baghdad does not withdraw from Kuwait.

Leaders of the Soyuz, or Union, faction in the legislature said that Shevardnadze had overstepped his authority when he made the statement in New York last week.

"Were we not assured during the discussion of our adventures in Afghanistan that the parliament would have to give its approval before any decision was made about sending Soviet troops abroad?" read the statement by Soyuz, which claims more than 450 members in the 2,100-seat Congress of People's Deputies. "Who authorized Shevardnadze's statement?"

The Soyuz group's statement warned that any Soviet military involvement in the Persian Gulf region would immediately make the country vulnerable to attack.

"This means that Iraqi rockets, armed with bacteriological and chemical warheads, would not be fired at the United States and Britain, which are thousands of kilometers from the zone of conflict, but rather against the {Soviet} Transcaucasus, northern Caucasus and Central Asia," the statement said.

Last month, some leading figures in the Soviet military pointed out that the huge buildup of troops just 300 miles from the Soviet Union's southwestern borders posed a possible security threat and could even unbalance superpower arms negotiations. The Kremlin leadership, while continuing to press for a diplomatic settlement of the gulf crisis, is still supporting Washington.

President Mikhail Gorbachev sent a member of his Presidential Council, Yevgeny Primakov, to Bagdhad to try to persuade Iraq's Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait. In brief remarks to reporters Thursday, Gorbachev seemed to want to ease speculation about Soviet military involvement in the gulf when he told reporters that he does not foresee a war in the region and that "there are already enough troops" there.