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

Nov 17, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) travels to Latin America this weekend to lead a major international forum on the growing link between radical Islamic terrorists and Latin American drug cartels. 300 Members of Parliament and security officials from fifteen South American nations will attend the forum hosted by Congressman Pittenger.
Nov 9, 2017 Press Release
In an effort to counter increased Chinese aggression, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (TX-10) introduced the Taiwan Security Act.
Nov 8, 2017 In The News
Oct 13, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued this statement after reviewing President Trump’s strategy on Iran:
Sep 20, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), who serve together on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, wrote Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to ask that the State Department prioritize Rev. Cao’s case. Their letter was co-signed by Congressman Mark Walker (NC-06), Congressman George Holding (NC-02), Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07), and Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14).
Sep 14, 2017 Press Release
President Donald Trump used his authority to block the proposed Chinese takeover of Lattice Semiconductor, the third-largest American producer of critical technology for U.S. military applications.
Aug 22, 2017 Press Release
The Trump Administration today announced new sanctions on 16 Russian and Chinese entities which provide support to North Korea’s brutal regime. This action expands on Congressman Robert Pittenger’s recent legislation to crack down on international businesses that support North Korean cyberattacks.
Aug 22, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger, Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, had this statement following President Trump’s address on Afghanistan:
Aug 2, 2017 Press Release
President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation drafted by Congressman Robert Pittenger related to strengthening our country’s anti-terrorist group financing efforts. Representative Pittenger’s legislation was included in H.R. 3364, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which passed the House on July 25 by a vote of 419 to 3. Congressman Pittenger released the following statement:
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.