|Republic of Iraq|
Iraq's is almost completely surrounded by land. There is a very small strip of land along the northwestern Persian Gulf that gives Iraq access to the sea. Two large ports, Basra and Umm Qasr give Iraq the way to ship petroleum products to the countries of the world. Nomadic shepherds roam the Syrian desert region of Iraq. The Tigres and Euphrates Rivers empty into the Persian Gulf and provide water to much of Iraq. The land in northern Iraq is dry and depends on water from flood control projects to irrigate crops.
|Syrian Desert||Tigres and Euphrates Rivers||Shatt al Arab|
|Map of Middle East|
Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait
along the west
|Climate||Iran's climate is cool and mild in the winter and hot and dry during the summer. In the mountain areas the winters are cold with lots of snow. The snow melts in the spring and bring floods to the low land areas.|
|Population||21,422,300 (1996 census figure)|
|People||Most of Iraq's population's religion is Shiite or Sunni Muslim. There are more Shiite Muslims than Sunni Muslims. The Kurds are a part of the Sunni Muslim group and live in the mountains. 80 percent of Iraq's people speak the Arabic language. In the 1950's almost all of the Jewish people living in Iraq immigrated to Israel.|
|Economy||Oil is Iraq's main resource and brings in as much as 95% of Iraq's income. The largest producer of petroleum products in Iraq is the Iraq Petroleum Company. The oil is sent through pipes to Syria, Lebanon, and to the Persian Gulf to be exported to foreign countries. Since the Gulf War the petroleum production has suffered and Iraq has not been allowed to sell oil products. Iraq does produce other products like chemicals, textiles, cement, food products, construction materials, leather goods, and machinery. The production of these products has slowed down since Iraq is not allowed to trade with other countries very much because of their invasion of Kuwait. Iraq depends on the aid from foreign countries in order for its citizens to survive. Prices in Iraq are high because they do not have the materials to produce many needed items and the free countries of the world will not allow Iraq to trade with other countries.|
|Government||Iraq government is a republic. A provisional constitution was made on July 16, 1970 and a new constitution was written in 1990, but it has not been accepted yet. Religious courts are used to make laws based on Islamic principles in Iraq. There are no civil laws.|
Iraq used to be a part of the Ottoman Empire, but became independent in 1932. In 1958 Iraq made itself a republic, but had only military leaders who were very harsh to the people of Iraq. The president of Iraq, Suddam Hussein, has been the ruler of Iraq for three decades. In August 1990, Iraq invaded the small nation of Kuwait who has a long coastline on the Persian Gulf. Iraq wanted the petroleum products and better access to the Persian Gulf. A coalition force of nations around the world got together and forced Iraq out of Kuwait.
|Bibliography and Citations|
|Photographic Citations: Photographic citations can be found by moving your mouse over the picture.|
CIA Factbook: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/