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    Iraq Geography 1995

      Location: Middle East, between Iran and Saudi Arabia

      Map references: Middle East, Standard Time Zones of the World

      total area: 437,072 sq km
      land area: 432,162 sq km
      comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of Idaho

      Land boundaries: total 3,631 km, Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 242 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 331 km

      Coastline: 58 km

      Maritime claims:
      continental shelf: not specified
      territorial sea: 12 nm

      International disputes: Iran and Iraq restored diplomatic relations in 1990 but are still trying to work out written agreements settling outstanding disputes from their eight-year war concerning border demarcation, prisoners-of-war, and freedom of navigation and sovereignty over the Shatt al Arab waterway; in April 1991 official Iraqi acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution 687, which demands that Iraq accept the inviolability of the boundary set forth in its 1963 agreement with Kuwait, ending earlier claims to Bubiyan and Warbah islands or to all of Kuwait; the 20 May 1993 final report of the UN Iraq/Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission was welcomed by the Security Council in Resolution 833 of 27 May 1993, which also reaffirmed that the decisions of the commission on the boundary were final, bringing to a completion the official demarcation of the Iraq-Kuwait boundary; Iraqi officials still refuse to unconditionally recognize Kuwaiti sovereignty or the inviolability of the UN demarcated border; periodic disputes with upstream riparian Syria over Euphrates water rights; potential dispute over water development plans by Turkey for the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

      Climate: mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northernmost regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows

      Terrain: mostly broad plains; reedy marshes in southeast; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

      Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

      Land use:
      arable land: 12%
      permanent crops: 1%
      meadows and pastures: 9%
      forest and woodland: 3%
      other: 75%

      Irrigated land: 25,500 sq km (1989 est)

      current issues: government water control projects drain inhabited marsh areas, drying up or diverting the streams and rivers that support a sizable population of Shi'a Muslims who have inhabited these areas for thousands of years; the destruction of the natural habitat also poses serious threats to the wildlife populations; damage to water treatment and sewage facilities during Gulf war; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of Tigris-Euphrates Rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparians (Syria, Turkey); air and water pollution; soil degradation (salinization) and erosion; desertification
      natural hazards: NA
      international agreements: party to - Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban; signed, but not ratified - Environmental Modification

      NOTE: The information regarding Iraq on this page is re-published from the 1995 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Iraq Geography 1995 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Iraq Geography 1995 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 09-Aug-02
    Copyright © 2002 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)