BlueWorld

Middle East: Iraq



About Iraq

Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq became an independent kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of military strongmen have ruled the country since then, the latest being SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-1988). In August 1990 Iraq seized Kuwait, but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during January-February 1991. The victors did not occupy Iraq, however, thus allowing the regime to stay in control. 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. UN trade sanctions remain in effect due to incomplete Iraqi compliance with relevant UNSC resolutions.


Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Baghdad
Population: 23,331,985 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: NA%
Language: Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian
Date of independence: 3 October 1932 (from League of Nati
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
Environmental 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 Shi'a Muslims, who have inhabited these areas for thousands of year
Agricultural Products: wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep
Imports: food, medicine, manufactures
Exports: crude oil
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Egypt, Russia, France, Vietnam (2000)
EXPORTS: Russia, France, Switzerland, China (2000)

 

Iraq Headlines


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