An Iranian oil tanker intercepted in July on suspicion that it breached EU sanctions by transporting oil to Syria was again photographed off the coast, raising concerns that the vessel could move cargo.
Thursday's satellite images showed Iran's Adrian Darya 1, formerly called Grace 1, pictured next to a smaller vessel, the Jasmine, the previous day.
Through mooring lines, the two ships can be seen bound together while a crane is placed on the tanker's starboard side.
The ships ' scene and location suggested that the tanker might be ready to move their crude oil.
In July, the Adrian Darya 1 was intercepted off Gibraltar's British overseas territory while transporting $130 million in crude oil on suspicion of violating sanctions against the European Union by taking the oil to Syria.
Gibraltar released the tanker later after it told Iran that the ship would not go to Syria. Gibraltar later released the tanker after telling Iran the ship wasn't going to Syria.
TankerTrackers.com oil shipping website said Tuesday on Twitter that the Adrian Darya 1 was "listed in a STS (Ship-to-Ship) tanker with a smaller Handymax (350 K barrel capacity) flagged by Iran," the Jasmine said. This noted that this was "not yet a confirmation of any oil movement. The photo posted on the website showed the two ships off Syria's coast.
Nonetheless, the website said it ended its public reporting of the movements of the Iranian tanker on Wednesday because of a U.S. tweet. State Secretary Mike Pompeo, who used the two tankers ' photo in his own tweet.