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Romania Reports Oil Rig Occupied By Iran's Military

August 22, 2006 -- The Romanian Embassy in Tehran has confirmed that Iranian military forces have attacked and occupied a Romanian oil rig in the Gulf.

The "Orizont" rig belongs to the Romanian Group Servicii Petroliere (GSP) and operates in Iranian waters.

GSP has had an ongoing dispute since April with two Iranian oil companies -- Petroiran and Oriental Oil Kish -- over drilling rights, according to GSP President Gabriel Comanescu.

Comanescu said an Iranian warship fired shots before its crew boarded the oil platform.

Contact with the crew was reported lost.

Lawmaker Mircea Geoana, who heads Romania's Social Democratic Party, accused Iran of taking a hostile action against Romania. He called on President Traian Basescu to lead an emergency meeting of the country's supreme defense council and take diplomatic action to free the crew and the rig.

(Reuters, AP)