Argentina on Saturday said that a TV spot filmed in the Falklands with an Argentine athlete competing in the 2012 London Summer Olympics was not meant to be a provocation.
"I hope not, I really hope not, because this is not meant to be a provocation," said Alicia Castro, Argentina's ambassador to Britain, in an interview with the daily El Tribuno.
The ad shows Argentina hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg running through the Falklands capital Stanley, and exercising on the town's Great War Memorial, which honors British sailors who died in World War I.
The ad carries the tagline: "To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil."
The ad was aired on Argentine television amid high tensions between the two countries as they mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war over the British-held islands still claimed by Argentina as its own.
Created by the Argentine arm of global marketing agency Y and R, it was released by Argentina's presidency and claims to be a "homage to the fallen and ex-combatants" of the conflict.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday branded the clip a "stunt," and accused Argentina of trying to exploit the Olympics for political purposes.
British Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond in turn called it "tasteless" and "insulting."
"Argentina has had some diplomatic setbacks in the last few weeks," Hague told Sky News television. "I think what is happening is they are looking for one or two stunts to try and make up for that or save a bit of pride somehow."
Controversy over the ad "has given the British government the opportunity to say things that have nothing to do with the actual event, as if Argentina had to do it because of a blunder at a summit," Castro told El Tribuno.
"At every summit that we go to there is increasingly more support for our demand for the Malvinas," she said, using the local name for the islands.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Saturday also criticized Argentina for exploiting Games with the ad.
"The Olympic Games should not be a forum to raise political issues and the IOC regrets any attempt to use the spotlight of the Games for that end," read a statement from the IOC sent to AFP.
"We are in contact with the Argentine NOC on a regular basis and we have been reassured on a number of occasions that the NOC will not seek to use the Games as a political platform and will fully respect the Olympic Charter.
"The IOC has always striven to separate sport from politics and honor the spirit of the Games and all those who take part."