The Iranian president's assertion in the United Nations that Iran has a right to produce nuclear energy was "disappointing and unhelpful," said British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Sunday.
"This is a disappointing and unhelpful speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." Straw told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in an interview.
On Saturday, Ahmadinejad told the UN General Assembly that Iran had an "inalienable right" to produce nuclear energy, but said Iran did not have atomic weapons. His address was made just two days before a critical meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.
The United States and the European Union, who urged repeatedly Iran to give up any idea of enrichment capability, threatened to refer Iran to the UN Security Council.
"All the more disappointing given the fact that France, Germany and the United Kingdom and Javier Solana, EU Foreign Policy Representative, have spent much of the last few days in discussions with Iran and with intermediaries like Kofi Annan explaining that we would and we were ready to go the extra mile with the Iranians, notwithstanding their breaking the November Paris agreement and their restarting the facility at Isfahan, the conversion facility at Isfahan." said Straw.
"The Iranian president has offered nothing in this speech to suggest that he wants to abide by the agreement Iran has made." he said.
"This is about the whole of the international community, there is a board of the International Atomic Energy Agency where it has decided on seven successive occasions unanimously that Iran must bring itself in to full compliance with its own obligations, which have been there for years and years, for complete transparency under the Non Proliferation Treaty." Straw said.
"So offering to be transparent now is simply saying you're going to be compliant and really accepting that you've not been compliant in the past." he added