Congressman Robert Pittenger

Representing the 9th District of North Carolina
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Foreign Affairs

Today’s world is interconnected as never before.  America’s economy and national security can be impacted by decisions and events in places many would have trouble finding on a map.  Every action we take is closely watched by our allies…and our foes.

The world has known peace and stability when America stood strong.  During my regular meetings with world leaders, the recurring theme is that our allies no longer know where America stands.

During the Cold War, everybody knew where America and President Reagan stood.  Facing an aggressive Russia, President Reagan negotiated with strength and secured concessions on missile defense.  He built our military, instigated economic challenges within the Soviet Union, and increased international pressure.  America won the Cold War without firing a shot.

In contrast, President Obama has negotiated the Iran nuclear deal from a position of weakness, granting concession after concession to the world’s number one state-sponsor of terrorism.  President Obama should have kept full sanctions in place and demanded the release of four innocent Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran, maintaining pressure until Iran agreed to a better deal.

President Obama still has no comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS, even though ISIS emerged as a major national security threat nearly two years ago.  He has been hesitant and feckless in his response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, and allowed Syria to trample all over his “red line.”

President Obama is playing “hide and seek” with global crises, and that has put America’s national security at risk.

As Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, I am actively engaged in efforts to increase America’s national security through increased collaboration with our allies, especially in the areas of Intelligence, terrorist financing, and cybersecurity.

China plays an increasingly important role in global affairs, but is also increasing their involvement in cyberattacks, human rights violations, and as an aggressor in the Pacific.  As a Member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, I am involved in monitoring the abuse of human rights and religious freedom in China.

America is not the “world’s policeman,” but when we stand strong for freedom, make clear our support for allies, and even more clearly enforce the “red lines” our enemies don’t dare cross, we make the world, and our community, a safer place.

The world sees the United States as a beacon of freedom.  Our responsibility is to continue upholding the torch of liberty, dedicated to opposing the violation of human rights, assisting those who are persecuted for their religious beliefs, fighting tyranny, and defending freedom.

We are a blessed nation with the respect of the free world.  Our national interest is best served as we uphold these liberties and freedoms for people around the world.


For thirty-five years, Iran has been the world’s number one financial sponsor of terrorism.  As well, they refuse to be transparent regarding their current and previous nuclear ambitions.  The Obama Administration has aggressively pursued a nuclear agreement with Iran, which continues to celebrate “Death to America Day” each November 4th.

President Obama built his domestic policy legacy on the failed promises of Obamacare and the regulatory burdensome Dodd-Frank legislation, which hurt job growth and the economy.  Now he’s following that with a foreign policy legacy built on a very bad deal with Iran.

As Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, and Vice Chairman of the Bipartisan Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing, I am deeply concerned with the P5+1 agreement.

President Obama was so desperate to achieve a deal that he gave concession after concession to Iran, negotiating not from a position of strength, but from weakness.

Major Concerns with the Iran Nuclear Deal:

  • No unfettered, anytime, anywhere access to possible nuclear sites in Iran.  This agreement allows Iran to delay inspections by at least 24 days.
  • Two secret side deals, which specifically exclude Congressional oversight.  The Iran nuclear deal includes two side agreements between Iran and the IAEA regarding past nuclear activity and access to the Parchin military facility.
  • Billions of dollars for the world’s number one state-sponsor of terrorism.  Iran will receive more than $100 billion in sanctions relief, and there are very few doubts that substantial funding will support their terrorist surrogates. 
  • The ban on Iranian ballistic missiles will be lifted. 
  • The arms embargo will be lifted.
  • “Snap back” sanctions are not feasible.  Once Iran is given access to the international financial system and rebuilds private-sector relationships, many countries will be reluctant to re-impose meaningful sanctions.
  • Iran plans to create a “resistance economy,” using this influx of money to secure their economy from the effects of any future sanctions.

Some say our only choice is between the current deal or war with Iran.  That’s false.  The third and better way would be for President Obama to stand firm throughout negotiations and continue applying financial pressure and sanctions on Iran until we’ve reached a GOOD deal. 

President Reagan provides an example.  When negotiating with the Soviet Union, President Reagan increased the economic pressure and wasn’t afraid to walk away from a bad deal.  In the end, the Soviet Union came back to the table and signed three accords regarding nuclear arms reductions.

Instead, President Obama scaled back sanctions at the beginning of negotiations and repatriated $12 billion to the world’s top financer of terrorism just as a condition of starting talks.  After President Obama made clear he was desperate for a deal, Iran became emboldened and continually forced negotiators to lower the threshold of accountability.

The Iran nuclear deal puts the safety of America and our allies at risk, and I am actively urging my colleagues – both Republican and Democrat – to support a resolution of disapproval and prevent implementation of a bad deal.



More on Foreign Affairs

Apr 19, 2017 Press Release
America has a choice. We can have prescriptive economic and trade policies with China – including tariffs, sanctions, improved export control laws, and strong CFIUS review authorities – or we can continue to allow them to advance their human rights abuses, execute massive corporate theft and cyberespionage operations, and deliver material support for North Korea.
Apr 12, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Pittenger wrote Commerce Secretary Ross to urge that Commerce publicly identify “F7” and take action to hold that company responsible for violating U.S. law.
Mar 13, 2017 Press Release
Chinese telecom firm ZTE Corporation agreed to pay over $1 billion in fines for violating U.S. law by selling embargoed technology to an Iranian government-controlled entity which could be used to oppress human rights.
Mar 8, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) participated in a Congressional delegation to Egypt, meeting for the fourth time with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to discuss efforts to counter the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic terrorists.
Mar 7, 2017 Press Release
Chinese telecom firm ZTE Corporation agreed to pay an $892 million fine and plead guilty to violating U.S. law for selling embargoed equipment to an Iranian government-controlled entity which could be used to oppress human rights.
Feb 3, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) had this statement after President Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran in response to a ballistic missile test:
Jan 25, 2017 Press Release
During his final month in power, President Obama provided $261 million U.S. tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority.
Jan 13, 2017 Press Release
In response to a bipartisan request led by Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) extended the deadline for public comment on the proposed Chinese takeover of the Chicago Stock Exchange from January 3rd into mid-to-late February.
Dec 6, 2016 Press Release
Due to serious national security concerns, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) has written Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urging the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to block the transaction of Lattice Semiconductor being acquired by an American venture capital firm with significant ties to China's communist government.
Dec 5, 2016 Press Release
More than 120 Members of Parliament, Senators, Ambassadors, and other officials from 39 nations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, and South America will join Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) at the Library of Congress for the 6th Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum.