National Security Brief: May 15, 2012

— Marine Corps. Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan who spent much of the past year negotiating a long-term security agreement with the Afghan government, is expected to leave his post early next year to take over U.S. European Command.

— Several former top U.S. officials said that a U.S. or Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is unlikely this year, but the U.S. presidential election and current diplomacy with Iran will push into next year final deliberations about whether to attack the facilities.

— An adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader said the country’s nuclear program has advanced beyond red lines laid out by the West “without violating any international laws or the nonproliferation treaty.”

— India, which gets about a tenth of its crude oil from Iran, agreed to cut down those imports 11 percent under heavy pressure from the U.S.

–The Obama administration is moving towards removing the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a controversial Iranian opposition group, from the State Department’s terrorism list.

— For a third day, pro- and anti-Assad factions, largely divided along sectarian lines, fought in the streets of Tripoli, Lebanon, bringing the death toll to at least five and leaving more than 100 injured.

–A “humanitarian update” report, written at the end of April for USAID and acquired by Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin, details attacks by Syrian troops and the targeting of aid workers despite an ongoing U.N. monitoring mission and cease-fire agreement.