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

Jul 14, 2017 Press Release
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved Congressman Robert Pittenger’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810) to crack down on international businesses that support North Korean cyberattacks.
Jul 6, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) introduced legislation to crack down on international businesses that support North Korean cyberattacks.
Jul 5, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger spoke to over 100,000 people at the pro-democracy “Grand Gathering of Iranians for #FreeIran” rally in Villepinte, France.
Jun 19, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger, who has led bipartisan efforts to dismantle Fidel Castro’s anti-American voting bloc at the United Nations, had this reaction to President Trump’s decision to hold the Cuban government accountable:
Jun 19, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) hosted more than 100 Members of Parliament and other officials from 28 nations for the 8th Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum in Riga, Latvia.
Jun 1, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released this statement on President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accord:
May 26, 2017 Press Release
Gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians south of Cairo, Egypt, killing at least 20 innocent civilians. Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), who advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians worldwide, issued this statement:
May 9, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) met with North Carolina military personnel while visiting Yokota Air Base in Japan.
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.