Iraq facts for kids

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Republic of Iraq

جمهورية العـراق
Jumhūriyyat al-‘Irāq
كۆماری عێراق
Coat of arms of Iraq
Coat of arms
Motto: الله أكبر (Arabic)
"Allahu Akbar(transliteration)
"God is the Greatest"
Anthem: "Mawtini"
"My Homeland"
Location of Iraq
and largest city
Official languages
Demonym(s) Iraqi
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional republic
Fuad Masum
Haider Al-Abadi
• Speaker of the Council of Representatives
Salim al-Jabouri
Legislature Council of Representatives
Independence from the United Kingdom
• Total
438,317 km2 (169,235 sq mi) (59th)
• Water (%)
• 2012 estimate
31,129,225 (36th)
• Density
71.0/km2 (183.9/sq mi) (125th)
GDP (PPP) 2013 estimate
• Total
$150.676 billion (63rd)
• Per capita
$4,272 (126th)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
• Total
$150.214 billion (62nd)
• Per capita
$4,288 (110th)
Gini (2007) 30.9
HDI (2011) 0.573
Currency Iraqi dinar (IQD)
Time zone UTC+3 (Arabia Standard Time)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (not observed)
Driving side right
Calling code +964
ISO 3166 code IQ
Internet TLD .iq
  1. Constitution of Iraq, Article 4 (1st).

Iraq is a country in southwestern Asia. Iraq borders with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to the south, Turkey to the north, Syria to the north-west, Jordan to the west, and Iran to the east. The capital of Iraq is Baghdad.

Iraq has been known by the Greek name Mesopotamia which means (Land between the rivers) and has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC. The region between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers is often referred to as the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of writing. Iraq was part of several empires, some were Safavid, and Afsharid. Most Iraqis are Shia Muslims.


From 1968 to 2003, Iraq was run by the Ba'ath Party. Saddam Hussein was the President from 1979 until the disbandment of the Ba'ath Party.

After the 1990 invasion of Kuwait many countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, Pakistan, and others fought to free Kuwait. Later, some agents believed to be sent by Saddam Hussein tried to kill former President George H. W. Bush with a truck bomb in Kuwait.

The March 2003 invasion of Iraq was led by American, British, Australian, Danish and Polish forces. They forced the Ba'ath Party to surrender. The publicly stated reason for the invasion was that Saddam Hussein refused to let United Nations inspectors look for suspected nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. In the past, Iraq used chemical weapons to kill people. Iraq had done research in making biological and nuclear weapons.

The country was initially split into 3 zones, the American zone, the British zone, and the Polish zone similar to the way Germany was divided in 1945. Forces from Denmark controlled areas in the British zone. A new temporary government was formed on June 28, 2004. The coalition forces were in the country.

There were many U.S., British and multi-national troops in the country until December 15, 2011 when the Iraq War had ended. Tensions between religious groups (Shia and Sunni Muslims, as well as Christians) lead to a great deal of instability in the country.


The country area lies between two rivers; for this reason the area was called Mesopotamia in ancient ages. The rivers Euphrates and Tigris bound what is called the Fertile Crescent. Iraq also has a small coastline along the Persian Gulf, and this coastline was considered the heart of the petroleum trade in Iraq before the First Gulf War. The weather is extremely hot and dry because Iraq is far from seas and oceans and even the close ones are blocked by mountains so that the rainy wind can not reach the inlands. This region has fertile land because of the two rivers.

Iraq is divided into 18 provinces (muhafazah).

  1. Baghdād (بغداد)
  2. Salāh ad-Dīn (صلاح الدين)
  3. Diyālā (ديالى)
  4. Wāsit (واسط)
  5. Maysān (ميسان)
  6. Al-Basrah (البصرة)
  7. Dhī Qār (ذي قار)
  8. Al-Muthannā (المثنى)
  9. Al-Qādisiyyah (القادسية)
  1. Bābil (بابل)
  2. Al-Karbalā' (كربلاء)
  3. An-Najaf (النجف)
  4. Al-Anbar (الأنبار)
  5. Nīnawā (نينوى)
  6. Dahūk (دهوك)
  7. Arbīl (أربيل)
  8. Kirkuk (كركوك)
  9. As-Sulaymāniyyah (السليمانية)


Iraq has a large amount of oil. Iraq is the world's number four in petroleum production and the world's number two in petroleum reserves. In the past, Iraq sold much of this oil to other countries. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the United Nations stopped Iraq from selling the oil. The United Nations later allowed Iraq to sell some oil to buy food, clothes, and medicine so the people would not suffer as much. This was called the "Oil-for-Food" program.

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