Iraq Geography 2011

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Page last updated on January 12, 2011

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

Geographic coordinates:
33 00 N, 44 00 E

Map references:
Middle East

total: 438,317 sq km
country comparison to the world: 58
[see also: Area - total country ranks ]
land: 437,367 sq km
[see also: Area - land country ranks ]
water: 950 sq km
[see also: Area - water country ranks ]

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

Land boundaries:
total: 3,650 km
[see also: Land boundaries - total country ranks ]
border countries: Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 240 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 352 km

58 km
[see also: Coastline country ranks ]

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

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
More Climate Details

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
[see also: Elevation extremes - lowest point country ranks ]
highest point: unnamed peak; 3,611 m; note - this peak is neither Gundah Zhur 3,607 m nor Kuh-e Hajji-Ebrahim 3,595 m
[see also: Elevation extremes - highest point country ranks ]

Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

Land use:
arable land: 13.12%
[see also: Land use - arable land country ranks ]
permanent crops: 0.61%
[see also: Land use - permanent crops country ranks ]
other: 86.27% (2005)
[see also: Land use - other country ranks ]

Irrigated land:
35,250 sq km (2003)
[see also: Irrigated land country ranks ]

Total renewable water resources:
96.4 cu km (1997)
[see also: Total renewable water resources country ranks ]

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 42.7 cu km/yr (3%/5%/92%)
[see also: Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) - total country ranks ]
per capita: 1,482 cu m/yr (2000)
[see also: Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) - per capita country ranks ]

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: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
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 2011 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Iraq Geography 2011 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Iraq Geography 2011 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 09-Feb-11
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