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  The World Factbook.  2008.
 
Iraq
 
Flag of Iraq                                Map of Iraq
 
Background:Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of military strongmen ruled the country until 2003, the last was SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait, but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. Coalition forces remain in Iraq under a UNSC mandate, helping to provide security and to support the freely elected government. The Coalition Provisional Authority, which temporarily administered Iraq after the invasion, transferred full governmental authority on 28 June 2004 to the Iraqi Interim Government, which governed under the Transitional Administrative Law for Iraq (TAL). Under the TAL, elections for a 275-member Transitional National Assembly (TNA) were held in Iraq on 30 January 2005. Following these elections, the Iraqi Transitional Government (ITG) assumed office. The TNA was charged with drafting Iraq's permanent constitution, which was approved in a 15 October 2005 constitutional referendum. An election under the constitution for a 275-member Council of Representatives (CoR) was held on 15 December 2005. The CoR approval in the selection of most of the cabinet ministers on 20 May 2006 marked the transition from the ITG to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half-century.
  
Geography
  
Location:Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait
Geographic coordinates:33 00 N, 44 00 E
Map references:Middle East
Area:total: 437,072 sq km
land: 432,162 sq km
water: 4,910 sq km
Area—comparative:slightly more than twice the size of Idaho
Land boundaries:total: 3,650 km
border countries: Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 240 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 352 km
Coastline:58 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: not specified
Climate:mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq
Terrain:mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: unnamed peak; 3,611 m; note - this peak is not Gundah Zhur 3,607 m or Kuh-e Hajji-Ebrahim 3,595 m
Natural resources:petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
Land use:arable land: 13.12%
permanent crops: 0.61%
other: 86.27% (2005)
Irrigated land:35,250 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:96.4 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 42.7 cu km/yr (3%/5%/92%)
per capita: 1,482 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:dust storms, sandstorms, floods
Environment—current issues:government water control projects have drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Marsh Arabs, who inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification
Environment—international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography—note:strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf
  
People
  
Population:27,499,638 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 39.4% (male 5,509,736/female 5,338,722)
15-64 years: 57.6% (male 8,018,841/female 7,812,611)
65 years and over: 3% (male 386,321/female 433,407) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 20 years
male: 19.9 years
female: 20 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:2.618% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:31.44 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:5.26 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.032 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.026 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.891 male(s)/female
total population: 1.024 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 47.04 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 52.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 41.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 69.31 years
male: 68.04 years
female: 70.65 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:4.07 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:less than 500 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—deaths:NA
Major infectious diseases:degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)
Nationality:noun: Iraqi(s)
adjective: Iraqi
Ethnic groups:Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%
Religions:Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%
Languages:Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.1%
male: 84.1%
female: 64.2% (2000 est.)
  
Government
  
Country name:conventional long form: Republic of Iraq
conventional short form: Iraq
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al-Iraqiyah
local short form: Al Iraq
Government type:parliamentary democracy
Capital:name: Baghdad
geographic coordinates: 33 20 N, 44 23 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins 1 April; ends 1 October
Administrative divisions:18 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah) and 1 region*; Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf, Arbil, As Sulaymaniyah, At Ta'mim, Babil, Baghdad, Dahuk, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Karbala', Kurdistan Regional Government*, Maysan, Ninawa, Salah ad Din, Wasit
Independence:3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration); note - on 28 June 2004 the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi-controlled Government
National holiday:Revolution Day, 17 July (1968); note - this holiday was celebrated under the SADDAM Husayn regime; the Government of Iraq has yet to declare a new national holiday
Constitution:ratified on 15 October 2005 (subject to review by the Constitutional Review Committee and a possible public referendum )
Legal system:based on European civil and Islamic law under the framework outlined in the Iraqi Constitution; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: President Jalal TALABANI (since 6 April 2005); Vice Presidents Adil ABD AL-MAHDI and Tariq al-HASHIMI (since 22 April 2006); note - the president and vice presidents comprise the Presidency Council)
head of government: Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI (since 20 May 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Barham SALIH (since 20 May 2006); second deputy prime minister positon vacant
cabinet: 34 ministers appointed by the Presidency Council, plus Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI, and Deputy Prime Minister Barham SALIH; second deputy prime minister position vacant
elections: held 15 December 2005 to elect a 275-member Council of Representatives
Legislative branch:Council of Representatives (consisting of 275 members elected by a closed-list, proportional representation system)
elections: held 15 December 2005 to elect a 275-member Council of Representatives; the Council of Representatives elected the Presidency Council and approved the prime minister and two deputy prime ministers
election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Unified Iraqi Alliance 41%, Kurdistan Alliance 22%, Tawafuq Coalition 15%, Iraqi National List 8%, Iraqi Front for National Dialogue 4%, other 10%; number of seats by party (as of November 2007) - Unified Iraqi Alliance (including the Sadrist bloc with 30 and Fadilah with 15) 130, Kurdistan Alliance 53, Tawafuq Front 44, Iraqi National List 25, Fadilah 15, Iraqi Front for National Dialogue 11, other 12
Judicial branch:the Iraq Constitution calls for the federal judicial power to be comprised of the Higher Juridical Council, Federal Supreme Court, Federal Court of Cassation, Public Prosecution Department, Judiciary Oversight Commission and other federal courts that are regulated in accordance with the law
Political parties and leaders:Assyrian Democratic Movement [Yunadim KANNA]; Badr Organization [Hadi al-AMIRI]; Constitutional Monarchy Movement or CMM [Sharif Ali Bin al-HUSAYN]; Da'wa al-Islamiya Party [Ibrahim al-JA'FARI]; General Conference of Iraqi People [Adnan al-DULAYMI]; Independent Iraqi Alliance or IIA [Falah al-NAQIB]; Iraqi Communist Party [Hamid MAJEED]; Iraqi Front for National Dialogue [Salih al-MUTLAQ]; Iraqi Hizballah [Karim Mahmud al-MUHAMMADAWI]; Iraqi Independent Democrats or IID [Adnan PACHACHI, Mahdi al-HAFIZ]; Iraqi Islamic Party or IIP [Tariq al-HASHIMI]; Iraqi National Accord or INA [Ayad ALLAWI]; Iraqi National Congress or INC [Ahmad CHALABI]; Iraqi National Council for Dialogue or INCD [Khalaf Ulayan al-Khalifawi al-DULAYMI]; Iraqi National Unity Movement or INUM [Ahmad al-KUBAYSI]; Islamic Action Organization or IAO [Ayatollah Muhammad al-MUDARRISI]; Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI [Abd al-Aziz al-HAKIM]; Jama'at al Fadilah or JAF [Muhammad Ali al-YAQUBI]; Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Masud BARZANI]; Kurdistan Islamic Union [Salah ad-Din Muhammad BAHA al-DIN]; National Reconciliation and Liberation Party [Mishan al-JABBURI]; Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [Jalal TALABANI]; Sadrist Trend [Muqtada al-SADR] (not an organized political party, but it fields independent candidates affiliated with Muqtada al-SADR); Sahawa al-Iraq [Ahmed al-RISAWHI]
note: the Kurdistan Alliance, Iraqi National List, Tawafuq Front, Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, and Unified Iraqi Alliance were only electoral slates consisting of the representatives from the various Iraqi political parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:an insurgency against the Government of Iraq and Coalition forces is primarily concentrated in Baghdad and in areas north, northeast, and west of the capital; the diverse, multigroup insurgency consists principally of Sunni Arabs with a shared desire to oust the Coalition, end US influence in Iraq, and reassert Sunni Arab dominance; a number of predominantly Shia militias, some associated with political parties, challenge governmental authority in Baghdad and southern Iraq
International organization participation:ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Samir Shakir al-SUMAYDI
chancery: 3421 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 483-7500 (Consular section)
FAX: [1] (202) 333-1129
Diplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Ryan C. CROCKER
embassy: Baghdad
mailing address: APO AE 09316
telephone: 1-240-553-0589 ext. 5340 or 5635; note - Consular Section
FAX: NA
Flag description:three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the phrase ALLAHU AKBAR (God is Great) in green Arabic script is centered in the white band; similar to the flag of Syria, which has two stars but no script, Yemen, which has a plain white band, and that of Egypt, which has a gold Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band; design is based upon the Arab Liberation colors; Council of Representatives approved this flag as a compromise temporary replacement for Ba'athist Saddam-era flag
  
Economy
  
Economy—overview:Iraq's economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. Although looting, insurgent attacks, and sabotage have undermined economy rebuilding efforts, economic activity is beginning to pick up in areas recently secured by the US military surge. Oil exports are around levels seen before Operation Iraqi Freedom, and total government revenues have benefited from high oil prices. Despite political uncertainty, Iraq is making some progress in building the institutions needed to implement economic policy and has negotiated a debt reduction agreement with the Paris Club and a new Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF. The International Compact with Iraq was established in May 2007 to integrate Iraq into the regional and global economy, and the Iraqi government is seeking to pass laws to strengthen its economy. This legislation includes a hydrocarbon law to establish a modern legal framework to allow Iraq to develop its resources and a revenue sharing law to equitably divide oil revenues within the nation, although both are still bogged down in discussions. The Central Bank has been successful in controlling inflation through appreciation of the dinar against the US dollar. Reducing corruption and implementing structural reforms, such as bank restructuring and developing the private sector, will be key to Iraq's economic success.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$100 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$55.44 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:5% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$3,600 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 5%
industry: 68%
services: 27% (2006 est.)
Labor force:7.4 million (2004 est.)
Labor force—by occupation:agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:18% to 30% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):4.7% (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $42.3 billion
expenditures: $48.4 billion (FY08 est.)
Agriculture—products:wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry
Industries:petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing
Industrial production growth rate:4% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:33.53 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity—consumption:35.84 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2007)
Electricity—imports:2.315 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil—production:2.11 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil—consumption:295,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil—exports:1.67 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil—imports:NA
Oil—proved reserves:115 billion bbl (1 January 2007 est.)
Natural gas—production:3.5 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:980 million cu m
note: 1.48 billion cu m were flared (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:3.17 trillion cu m (1 January 2007 est.)
Current account balance:$7.802 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:$34.04 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:crude oil 84%, crude materials excluding fuels 8%, food and live animals 5%
Exports—partners:US 46.7%, Italy 10.7%, Spain 6.2%, Canada 6.2% (2006)
Imports:$23.09 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:food, medicine, manufactures
Imports—partners:Syria 26.5%, Turkey 20.5%, US 11.8%, Jordan 7.2% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$21.26 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$56.31 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:$NA
Economic aid—recipient:$21.65 billion $13.5 billion pledged in foreign aid for 2004-07 from outside of the US, over $33 billion pledged total (2005)
Currency (code):New Iraqi dinar (NID) as of 22 January 2004
Exchange rates:New Iraqi dinars per US dollar - 1,255 (2007), 1,466 (2006), 1,475 (2005), 1,890 (second half, 2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
  
Communications
  
Telephones—main lines in use:1.547 million (2005)
Telephones—mobile cellular:10.9 million (2007)
Telephone system:general assessment: the 2003 liberation of Iraq severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq including international connections; widespread government efforts to rebuild domestic and international communications through fiber optic links are in progress; the mobile cellular market has expanded rapidly with an estimated 10.9 million current users
domestic: repairs to switches and lines destroyed during 2003 continue; additional switching capacity is improving access; cellular service is available and centered on 3 GSM networks which are being expanded beyond their regional roots, improving country-wide connectivity; wireless local loop licences have been issued with the hope of overcoming the lack of fixed-line infrastructure
international: country code - 964; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Arabsat (inoperative); local microwave radio relay connects border regions to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey; planned international fiber-optic connections to Iran (terrestrial) with a link to the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine fiber-optic cable (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:after 17 months of unregulated media growth, there are approximately 80 radio stations (types NA) on the air inside Iraq (2004)
Television broadcast stations:21 (2004)
Internet country code:.iq
Internet hosts:3 (2007)
Internet users:36,000 (2004)
  
Transportation
  
Airports:110 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 76
over 3,047 m: 19
2,438 to 3,047 m: 37
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 9 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 34
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 10 (2007)
Heliports:17 (2007)
Pipelines:gas 2,250 km; liquid petroleum gas 918 km; oil 5,509 km; refined products 1,637 km (2007)
Railways:total: 2,272 km
standard gauge: 2,272 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:total: 45,550 km
paved: 38,399 km
unpaved: 7,151 km (1999)
Waterways:5,279 km
note: Euphrates River (2,815 km), Tigris River (1,899 km), and Third River (565 km) are principal waterways (2006)
Merchant marine:total: 13 ships (1000 GRT or over) 67,796 GRT/101,317 DWT
by type: cargo 11, petroleum tanker 2 (2007)
Ports and terminals:Al Basrah, Khawr az Zubayr, Umm Qasr
  
Military
  
Military branches:Iraqi Armed Forces: Iraqi Army (includes Iraqi Special Operations Force, Iraqi Intervention Force), Iraqi Navy (former Iraqi Coastal Defense Force), Iraqi Air Force (former Iraqi Army Air Corps) (2005)
Military service age and obligation:18-40 years of age for voluntary military service (2006)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 5,870,640
females age 18-49: 5,642,073 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 4,930,074
females age 18-49: 4,771,105 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:males age 18-49: 198,518
females age 18-49: 289,879 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:8.6% (2006)
  
Transnational Issues
  
Disputes—international:coalition forces assist Iraqis in monitoring internal and cross-border security; approximately two million Iraqis have fled the conflict in Iraq, with the majority taking refuge in Syria and Jordan, and lesser numbers to Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, and Turkey; Iraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Turkey has expressed concern over the autonomous status of Kurds in Iraq
Refugees and internally displaced persons:refugees (country of origin): 15,000 (Palestinian Territories), 11,960 (Iran), 16,110 (Turkey)
IDPs: 1.9 million (ongoing US-led war and Kurds' subsequent return) (2007)

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