Iran is expected to conduct a rocket test this month in violation of the recent UN resolution on the Iranian nuclear deal that bans long-range missile tests, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Intelligence agencies are closely watching preparations in Iran to test a Simorgh space launch vehicle that U.S. officials say is the base for Tehran’s covert program to develop long-range nuclear missiles.

The large liquid-fueled rocket was developed with North Korean technology and was observed on a launch pad at the Semnan satellite launch center, located about 125 miles east of Tehran. UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which outlines implementation of the recent Iranian nuclear agreement, prohibits Iran from conducting nuclear ballistic missile tests for the next eight years. The resolution, passed in July, states in Annex B that Iran will not “undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” READ MORE