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White House Says Iran Must Stop Enriching Uranium

The White House says Iran must abandon efforts to enrich uranium, which the Bush administration believes Tehran wants to use to build nuclear weapons. A senior Iranian official says the country's incoming president may reverse an agreement to freeze those enrichment activities.

The leader of Iran's negotiating team over the nuclear standoff says he believes incoming president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will remain committed to talks with European officials.

But in an interview with an Iranian newspaper, Hassan Rohani said the new president has a different view of Iran's previous agreement to freeze enrichment activities and may seek to change that deal in talks with European diplomats next month.

Mr. Ahmadinejad has vowed to take what he calls new measures in nuclear talks once he takes power August 3.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan says Iran's leaders must commit themselves to the verifiable and irreversible cessation of uranium enrichment.

"There needs to be an objective guarantee from Iran to make sure that they are not developing nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian program," Mr. McClellan said. "That means there needs to be a permanent end to their uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities. We have made that very clear. Iran has a history of hiding and concealing their nuclear activities from the international community."

Mr. McClellan says President Bush continues to support British, French, and German negotiations to convince Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions, saying, "We will see how those efforts progress."

European diplomats are offering economic incentives to convince Iran to stop enriching uranium. They have said that if that enrichment resumes, those talks will end and the matter will be sent to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

The Bush administration believes Iran is secretly developing a nuclear weapons program. Iran says its nuclear program is only meant to generate electricity.