Iraq 1989Iraq

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Iraq - Introduction 1989
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Background: Iraq lies in the lower part of the Tigris-Euphrates valley, the heart of one of the four great ancient civilizations. The area was overrun by Arab, Mongol, and Turkish conquerors and became a British mandate following World War I. Independence came in 1932. Iraq's pro-Western stance ended in 1958 with the overthrow of the monarchy. Its subsequent turbulent history has witnessed the dictatorship of SADDAM Husayn, civil war with the Kurds and a bloody conflict with neighboring Iran.

Iraq - Geography 1989
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries:
3,454 km total
Iran 1,458 km, Iraq - Saudi Arabia Neutral Zone 191 km, Jordan 134 km, Kuwait 240 km, Saudi Arabia 495 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 331 km

Coastline: 58 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: not specific
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers

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


Natural resources: crude oil, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
Land use

Land use: 12% arable land; 1% permanent crops; 9% meadows and pastures; 3% forest and woodland; 75% other; includes 4% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Iraq - People 1989
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Population: 18,073,963 (July 1989), growth rate 3.8% (1989)

Nationality: noun - Iraqi(s; adjective - Iraqi

Ethnic groups: 75-80% Arab, 15-20% Kurdish, 5% Turkoman, Assyrian or other

Languages: Arabic (official), Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian

Religions: 97% Muslim (60-65% Shia, 32-37% Sunni), 3% Christian or other

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 45 births/1000 population (1989)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1000 population (1989)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1989)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: development of Tigris-Euphrates river systems contingent upon agreements with upstream riparians (Syria, Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salinization) and erosion; desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 69 deaths/1000 live births (1989)

Life expectancy at birth: 65 years male, 67 years female (1989)

Total fertility rate: 7.1 children born/woman (1989)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 55% (est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Iraq - Government 1989
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Iraq

Government type: republic

Capital: Baghdad

Administrative divisions: 18 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah; Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf, As Sulaymaniyah, At Tamim, Babil, Baghdad, Dahuk, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Irbil, Karbala, Maysan, Ninawa, Salah ad Din, Wasit

Dependent areas

Independence: 3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, 17 July (1968)

Constitution: 22 September 1968, effective 16 July 1970 (interim Constitution)

Legal system: based on Islamic law in special religious courts, civil law system elsewhere; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal adult

Executive branch: Chief of State and Head of Government - President Saddam HUSAYN (since 16 July 1979; Vice President Taha Muhyi al-Din MARUF (since 21 April 1974)

Legislative branch: Army, Navy, Air Force, Border Guard Force, mobile police force

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: Arab League, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB - Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Abdul-Amir Ali AL-ANBARI; Chancery at 1801 P Street NW, Washington DC 20,036; telephone (202) 483-7,500; US - Ambassador April C. GLASPIE; Embassy in Masbah Quarter (opposite the Foreign Ministry Club), Baghdad (mailing address is P. O. Box 2,447 Alwiyah, Baghdad; telephone Õ964å (1) 719-6,138 or 719-6,139, 718-1840, 719-3,791

Flag descriptionflag of Iraq: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with three green five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; similar to the flags of the YAR which has one star and Syria which has two stars (in a horizontal line centered in the white band) - all green and five-pointed; also similar to the flag of Egypt which has a symbolic eagle centered in the white band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Iraq - Economy 1989
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Economy overview: Development of the economy is guided by central planning, although economic reforms instituted in 1987 allowed some privatization. The economy is dominated by the oil sector, which provides about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. Since the early 1980s financial problems, caused by war expenditures and damage to oil export facilities by Iran, have led the government to implement austerity measures and to reschedule foreign debt payments. Oil exports have gradually increased as new pipelines have been constructed. Although the agricultural sector was privatized in 1987, development remains hampered by labor shortages, salinization, and dislocations caused by previous land reform and collectivization programs. The agricultural sector employs about 35% of the labor force but accounts for less than 10% of GNP. The industrial sector, although accorded high priority by the government, is under financial constraints. New investment funds are allocated only to those projects which rely heavily on local raw materials and result either in import substitution or foreign exchange earnings.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: vegetables, wheat, barley, dates, rice, livestock

Industries: petroleum, textiles, construction materials, food processing

Industrial production growth rate: 5% (1988)

Labor force:
3,500,000 (1980; 39%
services, 33% agriculture, 28%
industry, severe labor shortage; expatriate labor force about 1,000,000 (1987)

Labor force

Unemployment rate: less than 5%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $20.0 billion; expenditures $18.6 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1987)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $12.4 billion (f.o.b., 1988)
Commodities: crude oil and refined products, dates
Partners: Brazil, Italy, Turkey, France, Japan, Spain, USSR, Yugoslavia, US (1987)

Imports: $13.0 billion (c.i.f., 1988)
Commodities: food, manufactures, consumer goods
Partners: Turkey, US, FRG, UK, France, Japan, USSR, other Communist countries, Italy (1987)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $40 billion (1988 est.), excluding nominal debt to Gulf Arab states

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Iraqi dinars (ID) per US$1 - 0.3109 (fixed rate since 1982)

Iraq - Energy 1989
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Iraq - Communication 1989
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Iraq - Military 1989
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: NA

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Iraq - Transportation 1989
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 106 total, 97 usable; 69 with permanent-surface runways; 7 with runways over 3,659 m; 48 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 15 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: crude oil, 4,350 km; 725 km refined products; 1,360 km natural gas



Waterways: 1,015 km; Shatt al Arab usually navigable by maritime traffic for about 130 km, but closed since September 1980 because of Iran-Iraq war; Tigris and Euphrates navigable by shallow-draft steamers (of little importance; Shatt al Basrah canal navigable by shallow-draft vessels

Merchant marine: 43 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 906,496 GRT/1,616,429 DWT; includes 1 passenger, 1 passenger-cargo, 18 cargo, 1 refrigerated cargo, 3 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 18 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 1 chemical tanker

Ports and terminals

Iraq - Transnational issues 1989
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Disputes international: Iraq began formal UN peace negotiations with Iran in August 1988 to end the war that began on 22 September 1980 - troop withdrawal, freedom of navigation, sovereignty over the Shatt al Arab waterway, and prisoner of war exchange are the major issues for negotiation; Kurdish question among Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and the USSR; shares Neutral Zone with Saudi Arabia; periodic disputes with Syria over Euphrates water rights; potential dispute over water development plans by Turkey for the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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