AMANPOUR: The former president of Iran, Rafsanjani, has given a speech in which he urged you not to take the sanctions as a joke, to take them seriously. And he says that they are the most tough sanctions that Iran has ever experienced. Do you consider them a joke or do you take them seriously?
AHMADINEJAD: In Iran, people are free to make statements, to say what they think. There are no restrictions on what people say.
AMANPOUR: No, but the question is, do you take the sanctions seriously, or do you consider them a joke, ineffective, not serious?
AHMADINEJAD: We do take sanctions seriously, but taking it seriously is different from believing that they are effective. These are two different issues. We consider this and have reported it as a serious violation of international law. it was illegal. It was wrong. they wronged the people of Iran and insulting them and these sanctions will definitively mark a new level of progress in our economy. We have turned sanctions around and created opportunities out of it. Now, this doesn't mean certainly that we take it seriously, but it does not mean that it -- has a negative influence on our economy because it does not.
AMANPOUR: But this time, in fact, people are saying that it is having a negative influence. Businessmen will not be able to do enough trade. Shipping is going to be difficult. Insuring ships is going to be difficult....
AHMADINEJAD: None of this is a problem. I want to stress this is not a problem. If you want to say it's effective, why not wait for the next 6 months or a year and to see with your own eyes whether there are effects or not. And I tell you there are none.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you about human rights. You know the lady Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani who was sentenced to stoning. Her sentence was lifted. What do you personally think of stoning? Do you think that's an appropriate sentence for anybody in today's modern Iran?
AHMADINEJAD: Why do you think that the issue of one lady in a village in Iran called Miss Mohammadi should suddenly become such a big issue for American officials?
AMANPOUR: I'm surprised that you don't think that its likely to be a big issue and it's not just American officials it's all over the world it was international
AHMADINEJAD: Allow me! Allow me!
AMANPOUR: I want to know what your view is on stoning. do you think its appropriate and fitting for a modern country and a nuclear, want to be nuclear power.
AHMADINEJAD: Why don't you finish your statement and then allow me to speak?
AMANPOUR: I'm asking your opinion.
AHMADINEJAD: Well, if you want me to speak, if you want to lecture me, you can, but that's fine...
AHMADINEJAD: I wouldn't be offended, I have a lot of patience.
AMANPOUR: OK. I'd like your opinion on stoning.
AHMADINEJAD: first, what I want to say is that Miss Mohammadi was never sentenced to stoning. This was news that was produced and incorrect, and regrettably, U.S. media affected -- was infected by U.S. politicians to make a piece of news out of it.
AMANPOUR: But the Iranian government lifted the sentence...