Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ramped up her criticism of Iran over its nuclear program, but has again ruled out meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Bali.
Ms Gillard is in the resort area of Nusa Dua in Bali for a two-day forum on democracy which is being attended by almost a dozen world leaders and representatives from 54 countries, including the Iranian president.
While the forum is aimed at promoting peace through democracy, Mr Ahmadinejad has used the opportunity of an address to those gathered in Bali to attack the US where he said this week's presidential election had been 'a battle ground for the capitalists and an excuse for hefty spending'.
'That is why many of the independent, capable and pure-hearted elements don't get a chance to be part of the government. Justice, freedom and human dignity have been sacrificed by the selfishness of a minority in power,' Mr Ahmadinejad said.
Ms Gillard, who in recent days, during a visit to Laos, has talked of the need to maintain sanctions on Iran and criticised Tehran for its conduct 'in relation to nuclear material' and threats against Israel.
'I didn't hear the president's remarks,' Ms Gillard said, referring to Mr Ahmadinejad's earlier address, adding that she had been engaged at the time in a bilateral meeting with Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.
'I am here at a meeting about democracy. As I've said to you, it's not a meeting of democracy.'
The prime minister has ruled out having an official meeting with Mr Ahmadinejad to pass on her concerns.
'We are engaged with Iran. We engage diplomatically with Iran,' she said.
'What I am obviously concerned about is that despite that engagement, Iran and the president of Iran does not appear to be listening to the concerns of the world about Iran's nuclear program.'
The comments came after Ms Gillard reinforced Australia's position that it supports 'strong sanctions' against Iran during talks with French President Francois Hollande in Vientiane on Monday.
Ms Gillard told Mr Hollande that Australia had 'consistently expressed its strong concerns' about Iran's nuclear program and its failure to abide by its Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and International Atomic Energy Agency obligations.