The Obama administration has told Congress it won’t complete approval for Bahrain to buy as many as 19 F-16 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp. and upgrades for older ones for almost $4 billion until the Gulf ally demonstrates progress on human rights, according to people familiar with the issue.

The declaration of concern, which doesn’t specify what steps Bahrain would have to take, was included in a draft notification of the pending sale that the administration sent to Congress on Wednesday, according to the people who asked not to be identified discussing details of the message that wasn’t released publicly.

The proposed sale to Bahrain is one of three involving fighter jets by Lockheed and Boeing Co. to Persian Gulf allies, according to people familiar with the decision. The initial, informal notifications to Congress say the potential sales include as many as 72 Boeing F-15 jets to Qatar and as many as 32 of the company’s F/A-18 E/F fighters to Kuwait, according to one of the people. […]