National Security Brief: Iran Installs More Centrifuges At Underground Facility

— Intelligence officials said that Iran has nearly completed construction of an underground enrichment plant at Fordo, installing around 3,000 centrifuges in a move that “puts Iran closer to being able to build a nuclear weapon, or come up to the edge, if its leaders ultimately decide to proceed.”

— The Guardian reported that the British government would reject any American request to use any U.K. assets in an attack on Iran’s nuclear program, citing legal concerns that a strike would violate international law.

— The Syrian government and the Free Syrian Army have agreed to a temporary cease-fire to coincide with a major Muslim holiday.

— The New York Times reports: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Thursday that he and top military commanders “felt very strongly” that deploying American forces to defend against the fatal attack last month on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was too risky because they did not have a clear picture of what was happening on the ground.

— Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted for the first time that she could stay on as the nation’s top diplomat if President Obama wins a second term.