National Security Brief: March 30, 2012

— Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said yesterday that Iran will defend Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime if the U.S. or its allies take military action against government forces.

— Saudi Arabia has pressed Jordan to open its border with Syria to allow weapons to reach rebels fighting Assad’s forces.

— A spokesperson for former U.N. secretary general and now peace envoy to Syria Kofi Annan said that Assad must implement the Annan-brokered peace agreement “immediately.” “The deadline is now,” Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said.

— The U.S military is sending its most advanced radar system to the Pacific region ahead of North Korea’s expected launch of a long-range missile.

— House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) said yesterday that Congress can no longer afford to look at the defense budget in isolation and to do so is to ignore the gravity of the country‚Äôs debt problem.

— Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has spoken of irregularities ahead of Sunday’s by-election and said the campaign could not be considered ”genuinely free and fair.”