TWO British oil tankers with dozens of crew on board were seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guards less than an hour apart today in the Gulf.
The Government's Cobra committee is holding an emergency meeting in Whitehall tonight after the Stena Impero and Mesdar were halted by troops in speedboats and helicopters and diverted to Iran.
The raids came exactly two weeks after Royal Marines boarded a supertanker off Gibraltar suspected of carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria - prompting Tehran to threaten "retaliation".
British-flagged Stena Impero was sailing to the Saudi port of Jubail today but ship tracking data shows it veered off course with a sharp turn north at around 4.17pm UK time.
Iran's state news agency IRNA said it had been "impounded" and claimed the tanker had turned off its tracker, ignored warnings from the Revolutionary Guards and was sailing in the wrong direction in a shipping lane.