Transcript: George Stephanopoulos Interviews Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

MEDVEDEV: The Iranian nuclear program is not transparent. And this is the most difficult aspect. Iran, as any country, has the right to develop a peaceful nuclear program, but we also should understand what are the final tasks it's pursuing? It doesn't respond to certain offers which are given by the international community, including Russia.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you believe Iran wants the bomb?

MEDVEDEV: I don't know what Iran wants. It would be better to ask Iranian leaders. But I believe the nuclear development topic brings together the Iranian community, I don't have a doubt about that. This is the topic which is exploited by the Iranian leadership to bring together the elite or the whole population. Are they pursuing the nuclear weapon or not? I don't know. But we should carefully monitor it. These steps to enrich by 20 percent in their own sites, despite that we offered to do it in Russia, France and Turkey. This could be considered as at least the desire to enter into conflict with the world community.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Iran's unveiling new centrifuges now.

MEDVEDEV: In any case our attempts didn't bring success and this is tragic, especially that there were so many chances. We do have our own relationship with Iran, a very close one. We do have significant trade, we do work with Iran on energy, and we do deliver equipment to Iran. But we cannot watch without any concern how they develop their nuclear program. And that's why I joined the work which today we're doing with the US and other countries. The question is whats next? Are sanctions possible? Would they motivate them to proper behavior?

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's what I want to ask you about. Because, you know, strong majorities in the United States Congress look at the three sanctions regimes passed by the U.N. Security Council of Foreign State. They haven't worked. And the majority say it is time now to crack down on the petroleum trade. On refined-- petroleum products and gasoline. Why is that a bad idea?

MEDVEDEV: It's not whether it's a good thought or bad thought, I'm talking about something else. The sanctions is a tricky thing which works seldomly. You yourself were busy with politics, and you know that sanctions is not without conditions. But sometimes you have to do that. What kind of sanctions? We have spoken about that with President Obama yesterday. Sanctions should be effective and they should be smart.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what does that mean?

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