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Iraq

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.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 27,499,638 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Iraqi(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Iraqi

Official Language(s): Arabic, Kurdish

Major Languages Spoken: Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Kurdish

Map of Iraq

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Iraq

Country Name (short form): Iraq

Country Name (local long form): Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah

Country Name (local short form): Al Iraq

Name of Capital: Baghdad

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Iraq: Iran, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

Land Area: 432162 sq km

Water Area: 4910 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly more than twice the size of Idaho

Total Land Boundry: 3,650 km

Coastline: 58 km

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

International Phone Code: 964

Currency Code: New Iraqi dinar (NID) as of 22 January 2004

Internet Country Code: .iq

US Embassy Location: Baghdad

US Embassy Mailing Address: APO AE 09316

 

Iraq flag

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