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Iraq

Iraq (/ɪˈræk/, /ɪˈrɑːk/, or /aɪˈræk/; Arabic: العراق‎‎ al-‘Irāq), officially the Republic of Iraq (Arabic: ) is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest, and Syria to the west.

The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad.

The main ethnic groups are Arabs and Kurds; others include Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians, and Kawliya.

Around 95% of the country's 36 million citizens are Shia or Sunni Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism, and Mandeanism also present.

Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert.

Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf.

These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land.

The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.

It was here that mankind first began to read, write, create laws, and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived.

The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC.

Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires.

It was also part of the Median, Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Ayyubid, Mongol, Safavid, Afsharid, and Ottoman empires.

Iraq's modern borders were mostly demarcated in 1920 by the League of Nations when the Ottoman Empire was divided by the Treaty of Sèvres.

Iraq was placed under the authority of the United Kingdom as the British Mandate of Mesopotamia.

A monarchy was established in 1921 and the Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from Britain in 1932.

In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.

Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003.

After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power and multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005.

The American presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country.

Region:Middle East & North Africa
Income Level:Upper middle income
Population, total:0 (2017)
Capital:Baghdad
Longitude:44.394
Latitude:33.3302
Merchandise trade (% of GDP)

Merchandise trade as a share of GDP is the sum of merchandise exports and imports divided by the value of GDP, all in current U.S. dollars.
Source:World Trade Organization, and World Bank GDP estimates.

Time required to start a business (days)

Time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
Source:World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/).

Exports of goods and services (BoP, current US$)

Exports of goods and services comprise all transactions between residents of a country and the rest of the world involving a change of ownership from residents to nonresidents of general merchandise, net exports of goods under merchanting, nonmonetary gold, and services. Data are in current U.S. dollars.
Source:International Monetary Fund, Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook and data files.

Imports of goods and services (BoP, current US$)

Imports of goods and services comprise all transactions between residents of a country and the rest of the world involving a change of ownership from nonresidents to residents of general merchandise, nonmonetary gold, and services. Data are in current U.S. dollars.
Source:International Monetary Fund, Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook and data files.