WASHINGTON--The Carter administration announced yesterday that it will conduct normal diplomatic relations with the new government in Iran and criticized the Soviet Union for spreading anti-American propaganda in that nation.
U.S. Ambassador William H. Sullivan "relayed to the government in Iran our intentions to maintain diplomatic control relations with that government," State Department spokesman Hodding Carter III said yesterday. "This is the formal declaration that our relations do continue."
A U.S. State Department spokesman criticized the Soviet Union for "tendentious" broadcasts that accuse the U.S. of plotting military intervention in Iran.
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Malcolm Toon, the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, met with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko at the Kremlin to indicate "our dismay and surprise" that the official Soviet media would act "in a way that could increase the danger to Americans in Iran," Carter said.
In a related development in Iran, a planeload of American evacuees left the country yesterday on the first flight of an air shuttle that will carry thousands of Westerners to safety in the next few days.
When Tehran's airport reopened, a jetliner chartered from Pan American World Airways picked up 154 people and flew them to West Germany. Two jetliners, capable of carrying 400 people each will continue the evacuation today, Carter said.
U.S. officials hope to evacuate 5000 of the 7000 Americans still in Iran.