National Security Brief: November 14, 2011

Following an Arab League vote to suspend Syria’s membership over the government’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, Syria’s foreign minister accused the Arab countries of a “shameful and malicious” betrayal of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.

As Jordan’s King Abdullah told the BBC it was time for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down, the European Union promised tougher sanctions, though British foreign minister William Hague said military intervention was not in the cards.

President Obama defended his sanctions policies against Iran, telling reporters that economic sanctions against Tehran have had “enormous bite” and emphasized that Russia and China, two countries whose votes are necessary for additional Security Council resolutions, understand the threat posed by a nuclear armed Iran.

Meanwhile, Israel is quietly lobbying for tougher sanctions on Iran, aided in applying pressure by a flurry of reports suggesting that the Jewish State is on the verge of launching an attack on the Islamic Republic and its own dire warnings of Iranian nuclear progress.

Afghan and coalition forces may have captured Zabiullah Mujahid, a prominent Taliban spokesperson, according to multiple Afghan government officials.

The Afghan government will convene more than 2,000 Afghans to discuss President Hamid Karzai’s efforts to negotiate a strategic partnership agreement with the U.S.

Amid news that the Libyan oil sector would quickly recover quickly from this year’s civil war, post-war politics nonetheless hit a stumbling block as rival militias, once united in opposition to the fallen government, fought amongst themselves.

Bahrain broke up what it said was an Iranian-linked terror cell, a charge the Iranian government denied. Bahrain has as yet produced no evidence of Iran’s meddling in its recent popular unrest.