Ed Rogers
Ed Rogers

Bahrain has signed BGR Government Affairs to a two-year strategic communications contract worth $1.6M.

BGR chairman Ed Rogers, former aide to the late Republican political consultant Lee Atwater and deputy assistant in the George Bush I White House, leads the team that includes former journalist Jeffrey Birnbaum (Wall Street Journal, Time, Washington Post and Fortune) and Clinton/Obama White House staffer Maya Seiden.

Bahrain has long been criticized for a crackdown on its majority Shia population by its Sunni leadership. It has jailed Shia political leaders as terrorist.

The island nation, which is closely aligned with Saudi Arabia, is part of the Arab coalition that erected the economic and political blockade of Qatar for its alleged ties to Iran, which also is dominated by Shias.

Some fear Bahrain’s crackdown will build support for Iran.

Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.