MOSCOW, NOV. 9 -- Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is "not optimistic" about a peaceful settlement of the Persian Gulf crisis and is "disappointed" that two Soviet missions to Iraq have failed to force Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to reverse course, Secretary of State James A. Baker III reported today.

After 13 hours of meetings with Gorbachev and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze on Thursday, most of it focused on the gulf crisis, Baker said "it's fair to say" that the Soviets "are disappointed in the lack of a response that's been received, they're disappointed in the adamant attitude of Saddam Hussein in refusing to comply with 10 United Nations resolutions. I think they are as frustrated and as disappointed as most of the rest of the world community."

A senior State Department official said Gorbachev felt that Yevgeny Primakov, his adviser and envoy to Saddam, "was basically stiffed" by the Iraqi president. Although Primakov has said he left the second meeting more optimistic because Saddam did not refer to Kuwait as part of Iraq, U.S. officials have said the Soviet envoy broke no new ground in his meetings.

Describing the conversation with Gorbachev, the senior official said "it was to the effect generally that we've seen no evidence on the part of Saddam Hussein to even begin to comply with the United Nations resolutions." Gorbachev, the official said, "shares that view."

In Bonn tonight, Gorbachev said Saddam's efforts to split the alliance against him "have failed and will continue to be doomed."

Baker left Moscow without a public commitment from the Soviets to support a Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force, but the senior official said discussions with the Soviet leadership would continue.

In addition, the official said of Saddam, "We know he's unpredictable. Everybody says he has the capacity to do a 180 {degree turnabout} on short notice if he comes to realize it's in his interest to do so. And I think that the steps we are taking on this trip to lay the foundation for the use of force, if that becomes necessary -- and I would underline the 'if that becomes necessary' -- coupled with the {U.S. troop} announcement of last night, should send a reasonably clear signal. But I don't know whether his antennae will be set in a 'receive' mode or not."

The strongest messages to Saddam have been coming from President Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Tonight, after seeing Baker in London, Thatcher threatened war if necessary to reverse Iraqi aggression.

"The peaceful solution would be for Iraq to get out of Kuwait. That is a matter for them. We hope they will do it," she said. "If they do not, we shall have to take the military option and see that Iraq does leave Kuwait."

Thatcher, asked if Britain would support a U.N. resolution authorizing force, said she believes the allied nations already have sufficient legal authority to act under the U.N. Charter. Some British officials have expressed concern that an authorizing resolution could hamper military operations against Iraq by giving the Security Council veto authority over them.

Without making a commitment to the resolution tonight, Thatcher said, "We obviously would like to keep this remarkable coalition together." Thatcher and Baker also discussed sending a resupply mission to relieve the besieged American and British embassies in Kuwait, officials said.

One day after President Bush announced a decision to deploy up to 200,000 additional troops for Operation Desert Shield to be ready for offensive operations if necessary, Baker said he is confident that most of the forces in the multinational deployment on the Arabian Peninsula will fight alongside Americans should the conflict turn to war.

"I have a sense that most of the countries in the alliance will be with us," he said. "There may be some that may not be for some reason or another."

The senior State Department official, who briefed reporters at the conclusion of Baker's visit to Moscow today, was asked about troops from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, France, Britain, Syria and Egypt. The official said, "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Saudi forces will be committed" along with the other countries, "with the possible exception of Syria and the French."

The official said, "I do not know what those {Syrian and French} forces will do," adding that Baker would be pressing French President Francois Mitterrand on the question Saturday. France, which has longstanding ties to Iraq and the Middle East, has sought to stake out an independent position in the crisis.

The official surmised that Syria would be motivated to fight by its enmity toward Saddam. Recently, however, Western diplomats in Damascus have noted growing Syrian ambivalence about being aligned with the United States.

"What we're trying to do is get a picture of where each country stands, what the position of each country is, what qualifications, if any, each country would put on such an action," Baker said today in a television interview, adding that "we'll have a much better readout on all of that, probably, after the passage of another week's time."

The senior official noted that before the alliance could go to war, a political decision to do so would have to be made by national leaders. "That is a political decision at the highest level for all these governments," he said. "I think most all of them will be there."

President Bush leaves next week for the 34-nation European summit in Paris -- where he will meet Gorbachev -- and a tour of the Middle East. Baker suggested today that at the same time, the United States will be ready to go public with its next diplomatic moves, which are expected to include new of U.N. resolutions to put pressure on Iraq.

Questioned about setting a timetable for Saddam to withdraw or face military action, Baker said, "I think it would probably be a mistake for the United States to lay out a specific timetable" while still consulting with allied countries. Each country, he said, "has a somewhat different view of what the timeframe should be, but we're in the process of trying to collate and coordinate all those views."