Iraq is a Southwest Asian country. It is bathed by the Persian Gulf in the southeast, and borders Kuwait in the southeast, Saudi Arabia in the south, Jordan in the west, Syria in the northwest, Turkey in the north, and Iran in the east. It has a surface of 437 072 km2 , excluding the Neutral Zone which has been administered jointly with Saudi Arabia, since 1922.
The most important cities are Baghdad, the capital, 6 677 000 residents (2004) in the metropolitan area, Mosul (1 846 500 residents), Basra (1 477 200 residents), Irbil (1 349 200 residents) And Kirkuk ( 784 100 residents). The country has only one outlet to the Persian Gulf. It is crossed by two important rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. In the north, the mountains of Kurdistan extend to Turkey and Iran. In the western part of the country, there is the Syrian desert, which is inhabited only by nomadic herders.
The climate is arid or semi-arid. In summer, temperatures are extremely high, except in the northern highlands.
Iraq has an economy that depends heavily on revenues from oil and natural gas extraction. About 1/8 of the soil is fertile, thanks to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The most cultivated agricultural products are wheat, dates, tomatoes, grapes, barley, cucumbers, oranges, rice, corn and tobacco. The extractive industry includes, in addition to oil and natural gas, sulfur, mineral phosphate and plaster stone. The main industrial products are petroleum products, food products, textiles, paper, beverages, footwear and tobacco. The United Nations embargo has severely affected Iraq’s foreign trade. Iraq’s main trading partners are Jordan, Turkey, Hungary and Switzerland.
Environmental indicator: no data (1999).
With an estimated population of 26,783,383 residents (2006), Iraq has a population density of approximately 59.66 residents / km2. The birth and death rates are, respectively, 31.98% and 5.37%. Average life expectancy is 69.01 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) was not assigned and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) was not assigned (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will be 40 418 000 residents. The largest ethnic groups are Arab, with 77%, and Kurdish, with 19%. Shiite Muslims make up 63% of the population and Sunni Muslims make up 35%. The official language is Arabic, although in the Kurdish autonomous region it is Kurdish.
Great Britain occupied Iraq during the First World War. Under his protection, a monarchy was established in the country in 1921; a Constitution was signed in 1925; and full independence was granted in 1932. However, the pro-German Iraqi attitude, during the Second World War, led Britain to occupy the territory again between 1941 and 1945. In 1958, the revolution brought down the monarchy. A series of military coups followed until, in 1968, the leader of the Socialist Party, Saddam Hussein, seized power. For Iraq democracy and rights, please check homeagerly.
Between 1980 and 1990, the country was involved in a war with Iran that resulted from political and territorial disputes. The Iran-Iraq War came after Iraqi military forces invaded Iran and claimed the oil-rich Khuzestan province. In this conflict, Iraq had the financial support of Saudi Arabia, the USA and the Soviet Union. But in the mid-1980s, the country saw its international reputation undermined, after being accused of using chemical weapons against Iranian troops. The international community, outraged, sent warships to the Persian Gulf. In 1988, and after ten years of intense struggles, Iran accepted that the United Nations (UN) mediate the ceasefire between the two countries. In 1990 they reestablished diplomatic relations.
In August of that same year, Iraq invaded Kuwait and, in January 1991, the Gulf War took place. Western allied forces, led by the United States and supported by the UN and NATO, formed a coalition with the aim of getting Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. The operation was known as “Desert Storm” and lasted only a month. In February, Saddam Hussein was defeated.
With the imposition of the economic embargo by the United Nations Security Council, the nation of Saddam Hussein experienced a deep internal crisis, namely economic, but even so Saddam’s regime remained unshakable. However, in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the Iraqi regime was considered hostile to the United States and its allies, becoming the target of UN inspections to find weapons of mass destruction in the country. Despite the inconclusive results of the inspections – and the absence of an express mandate for the use of force by the United Nations Security Council – in March 2003, a coalition of American and British forces attacked Iraq and overthrew the regime chaired by Saddam Hussein, followed by a period of great instability.
On January 30, 2005, for the first time after the overthrow of the regime, free elections were held in the country. Despite the attacks recorded that day, more than 50% of the population participated in this political event, mainly the Shiite and Kurdish population. The rupture between Shiites and Sunnis was felt in the occurrence at the polls, since the adhesion was much lower or zero in the regions of Sunni population. The Shiites won an absolute majority.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Iraq, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Iraq. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Iraq
Browse a collection of country, political, thematic and shaded relief maps of this Persian Gulf nation. Check out the maps of Baghdad, Al Basrah region and Kurdish Lands.
Iraq – ABC Maps
View Iraq and its neighbors on the two maps provided. See the country’s flag and learn about its government, transportation and economy.
Iraq – ArabNet Map
Regional perspective of Iraq shows land features, key cities and bordering countries.
Iraq – Emulate Me Atlas
Includes a user-friendly map of Iraq, plus extensive information on the country’s people, economy, history and government.
Iraq – Grayscale Map
Easily locate cities and villages, plus the Persian Gulf and major rivers. Also shows Iranian cities, from the University of Chicago.
Iraq – MapQuest.com
Learn more about this troubled country. Locate cities, villages, mountain ranges and bordering countries.
Iraq – Multimap.com
View more than a dozen regional maps of Al Basrah in Iraq.
Iraq – National Geographic Map Machine
View a map accompanied by details about the population, religion and language of the area. Read about the political events that shaped Iraq.
Iraq – Perry-Casta eda Library Map Collection
Find maps of Iraq, Baghdad and the border areas of Iran and Iraq, from the University of Texas. Includes maps of Kurdish lands.
Iraq – Washington Post Satellite
Check out satellite map of Baghdad, originally taken by the Russians. Click on a quadrant to zoom in and see closer views and find information.
Iraq – World Travel Guide Map
Small graphical map of Iraq shows key cities and land features, and outline of bordering countries.
MSN Encarta Maps – Iraq
Access this high-definition, well-detailed map of Iraq and find key cities, land features and bordering neighbors.