The Iranian super tanker Adrian Darya 1 has been joined by a smaller tanker close to the offshore terminal that supplies Syria's Baniyas refinery, an image captured by Maxar's Worldview-3 satellite on 2 October shows.
Formerly called Grace 1 , Adrian Darya 1 was seized by British Royal Marines in the Strait of Gibraltar on 4 July on suspicion that it was violating European Union sanctions by delivering oil to Syria. It was released on 18 August on the condition that it would not deliver its cargo to Syria.
Data from the tanker's AIS transponder shows it subsequently sailed around Cyprus to Syria, where it stopped sending signals on 2 September.
The smaller tanker seen in the Maxar satellite image has been identified as Jasmine , an Iranian-flagged vessel that transited the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean on 8 May and then appeared to switch off its AIS transponder five days later. It was one of several tankers the US Treasury Department sanctioned on 4 September on the basis that they are used by an Iranian petroleum shipping network.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes