Shafaq News/ The Iraqi Embassy in Washington has hired new lobbyists and extended its contract with another firm to provide policy and communications advice, according to the US newspaper Politico on Saturday.
Politico linked the embassy's actions to the rising tensions in the region due to the Israel-Hamas war and the recent U.S. retaliation for a drone attack that killed three US troops last month.
The embassy has signed a yearlong contract with Squire Patton Boggs for nearly $800,000 to provide policy advice and outreach regarding the political and commercial relationship between Iraq and the US, Politico reported.
This contract was dated Feb. 2, 2024, before a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed the commander of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, Abu Baqer al-Saadi, whom the Pentagon confirmed was responsible for attacks on US troops in the region.
Justice Department documents show that the contract activities will be handled by administrative official Ed Newberry, former diplomat Paul Jones, David Schnittger, and Bret Boyles.
The embassy has also enlisted the services of Michael Sarafa from the Michigan law firm Butzel Long to help establish connections with Iraqi-American communities in Michigan and Illinois, the Iraqi-American business community, and the congressional representatives of those communities.
Moreover, the embassy has renewed its contract with the lobbying and communications firm Cogent Strategies to manage media coverage, provide media training, enhance the embassy’s social media presence, and engage with think tanks. As part of the yearlong extension, Cogent’s fees for the work will increase to $310,000, from $200,000.