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Soviets Call Iran Deal U.S. Subversion

United Press International

The Soviet Union charged Wednesday that former White House national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane’s reported secret weapons-for-hostages deal with Iran is proof of U.S. attempts at subversion in the Middle East.

“The American hostages are merely pawns in the game the United States is playing in the Middle East,” Moscow radio said, suggesting a U.S. drive to gain control of the region.

The Communist Party newspaper Pravda described the efforts of the White House “to curb the scandal that arose all of a sudden after facts about U.S. interference in the internal affairs of Iran had come to light.”

Diplomats said the state-controlled newspapers, radio and television are capitalizing on U.S. embarrassment over the affair, which has damaged Washington’s credibility in attempts to isolate nations that support terrorism.

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The United States severed diplomatic ties with Tehran after militant Iranian students took U.S. Embassy personnel hostage in 1979.

Pravda described the National Security Council, reportedly involved in the negotiations, as the “principal center for planning and carrying out subversive operations abroad.”

The newspaper said U.S. contacts with Iran are meant to “try and bring a somewhat more moderate leadership to power in Iran.”

Throughout the six years of the Iran-Iraq War, Moscow has accused Washington of encouraging the fighting to justify moving its own forces into the oil-rich Persian Gulf area.

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