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    Iraq Geography - 2003

      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
      water: 4,910 sq km
      land: 432,162 sq km

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

      Land boundaries: total: 3,650 km
      border countries: Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 240 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 352 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: Haji Ibrahim 3,600 m

      Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

      Land use: arable land: 11.89%
      permanent crops: 0.78%
      other: 87.33% (1998 est.)

      Irrigated land: 35,250 sq km (1998 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 Marsh Arabs, who 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 the Tigris and 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

      Geography - note: strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf

      NOTE: The information regarding Iraq on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Iraq Geography 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 20-Sep-03
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