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Iraq Geography

    Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait

    Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 44 00 E

    Map references: Middle East

    Area:
    total: 437,072 sq km
    land: 432,162 sq km
    water: 4,910 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Idaho

    Land boundaries:
    total: 3,631 km
    border countries: 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

    Climate: mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq

    Terrain: mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
    highest point: Gundah Zhur 3,608 m

    Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

    Land use:
    arable land: 12%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 9%
    forests and woodland: 0%
    other: 79% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 25,500 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: dust storms, sandstorms, floods

    Environment—current 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 years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of Tigris-Euphrates Rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)