Iraq Map
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currency: Iraqi dinar (IQD)
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Iraq profile
strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf
Iraq history
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 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. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces. In October 2005, Iraqis approved a constitution in a national referendum and, pursuant to this document, elected a 275-member Council of Representatives (COR) in December 2005. The COR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006, marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. In January 2009, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three governorates comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010 - choosing 325 legislators in an expanded COR - and, after nine months of deadlock the COR approved the new government in December 2010. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011.
interesting Iraq facts
Conventional long form: Republic of Iraq

Conventional short form: Iraq

Local long form: Jumhuriyat al-Iraq/Komar-i Eraq

Local short form: Al Iraq/Eraq
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Iraq's capital city is Baghdad
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Iraq Constitution:

ratified 15 October 2005 (subject to review by the Constitutional Review Committee and a possible public referendum)
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Iraq population growth rate: 2.345%
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Iraq highest point: unnamed peak; 3,611 m; note - this peak is neither Gundah Zhur 3,607 m nor Kuh-e Hajji-Ebrahim 3,595 m
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Iraq lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
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About 9% of Iraq's land is arable.
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Euphrates River is the Longest River in Iraq
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Iraq birth rate is 28 births/1,000 population
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Iraq infant mortality rate is 40 deaths/1,000 live births
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Iraq fertility rate is 3.5 children born/woman
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Iraq 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
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Top 10 cities of Iraq with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Baghdad: 9,500,000
2. Mosul: 3,000,096
3. Basra: 2,300,125
4. Arbil: 1,293,820
5. Kirkuk: 1,200,000
6. Fallujah: 850,992
7. Sulaymaniyah: 807,614
8. Karbala: 800,347
9. Najaf: 800,137
10. Ramadi: 700,373
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Iraq ethnic groups:

Arab - 75%-80%
Kurdish - 15%-20%
Turkoman, Assyrian, or other - 5%
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Iraq Exports:

crude oil 84%
crude materials excluding fuels
food and live animals
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Iraq Imports:

food
medicine
manufactures
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unicameral Council of Representatives (325 seats consisting of 317 members elected by an optional open-list and representing a specific governorate, proportional representation system and 8 seats reserved for minorities; members serve four-year terms); note - Iraq's Constitution calls for the establishment of an upper house, the Federation Council

Administrative Divisions:
18 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah (Arabic); parezgakan, singular - parezga (Kurdish))

1. Al Anbar
2. Al Basrah
3. Al Muthanna
4. Al Qadisiyah (Ad Diwaniyah)
5. An Najaf
6. Arbil (Erbil) (Arabic), Hewler (Kurdish)
7. As Sulaymaniyah (Arabic), Slemani (Kurdish)
8. Babil
9. Baghdad
10. Dahuk (Arabic), Dihok (Kurdish)
11. Dhi Qar
12. Diyala
13. Karbala'
14. Kirkuk
15. Maysan
16. Ninawa
17. Salah ad Din
18. Wasitand

and 1 region:

Kurdistan Regional Government
Political parties and leaders:
Badr Organization - Hadi al-AMIRI

Da'wa Party - Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI

Da'wa Tanzim - Hashim al-MUSAWI branch

Da-wa Tanzim - Abd al-Karim al-ANZI branch

Fadilah Party - Hasan al-SHAMMARI and Ammar TUAMA

Goran (Change) List - Nushirwan MUSTAFA

Iraqi Covenant Gathering - Ahmad Abd al-Ghafur al-SAMARRAI

Iraqi Constitutional Party - Jawad al-BULANI

Iraqi Front for National Dialogue - Deputy Prime Minister Salih al-MUTLAQ

Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) - Usama al-TIKRITI

Iraqi Justice and Reform Movement - Shaykh Abdallah al-YAWR

Iraqi National Accord (INA) - Ayad ALLAWI

Iraqi National Congress (INC) - Ahmad CHALABI

t Iraqi National Movement

Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) - Ammar al-HAKIM

Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) - Kurdistan Regional Government President Masud BARZANI

Future National Gathering - Finance Minister Rafi al-ISSAWI

National Iraqiyun Gathering - Usama al-NUJAYFI

National Movement for Reform and Development - Jamal al-KARBULI

National Reform Trend - former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-JAFARI

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) - President Jalal TALABANI

Renewal List - Vice President Tariq al-HASHIMI

Sadrist Trend - Muqtada al-SADR

Sahawa al-Iraq - Ahmad al-RISHAWI

State of Law Coalition