A sterner Soviet tone toward Iran. . . . A bit milder toward West Europe. . . . Scrupulously polite toward China. . . . Tough again on Poland. As the Pope flew to Warsaw June 16, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko was delivering a review to the Soviet parliament on the world according to the Kremlin.
The speech contained no major policy shifts - although it did represent a high-level echo of Soviet media skepticism over new US arms proposals - but was interesting for tone and nuance.
On Iran: After noting ''friendship'' with Iraq, Gromyko spoke only of a desire for ''normal'' ties with Iran. He criticized Iran's recent ouster of 18 Soviet diplomats, adding, ''The USSR will act with regard to whether Iran wishes to maintain normal relations . . . or has different intentions.''
On West Europe: He repeated general criticism of Western arms moves, and Soviet vows to take ''responsive measures to strengthen our defense'' if new US missiles go into Europe. But he omitted a recent, more explicit Soviet warning suggesting possible deployment of new nuclear rockets in East Europe.
On France: He omitted reference to a strain, even though France recently booted out even more Soviets than Iran. He said Moscow ''stands for good relations and fruitful cooperation with France, jointly with whom a good deal has been done . . . to promote the interests of peace and cooperation.''
On China: He said Moscow was committed to pursuing recent normalization talks with Peking and hoped for ''positive results.'' He omitted any criticism of China, even in discussion of overall Asian politics.
On Poland: Gromyko repeated Soviet charges the West was trying ''ideological subversion'' in Poland and should not ''doubt'' the common ''resolve'' of the East bloc to ''uphold the inviolability of our borders, ensure the reliability of all the elements comprising the [East European] community.''