Republic of Iraq
National name: Jumhouriyat Al Iraq
Government: The government of Saddam Hussein collapsed on April 9 after U.S. and British forces invaded the country. American diplomat Paul Bremer serves as the civil administrator of the country. An Iraqi interim governing council with limited powers was inaugurated in July. Twenty-five Iraqis, representative of Iraq's various ethnic and religious groups, sit on the council. The presidency will rotate alphabetically among nine of the members, changing each month.
Geography: Iraq, a triangle of mountains, desert, and fertile river valley, is bounded on the east by Iran, on the north by Turkey, on the west by Syria and Jordan, and on the south by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The country has arid desert land west of the Euphrates, a broad central valley between the Euphrates and Tigris, and mountains in the northeast.
Area: 168,753 sq mi (437,072 sq km)
Population (2003 est.): 24,683,313 (growth rate: 2.8%); birth rate: 33.7/1000; infant mortality rate: 55.2/1000; density per sq mi: 146
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Baghdad, 6,777,300 (metro. area), 5,772,000 (city proper)
Largest cities: Mosul, 1,791,600; Basra, 1,377,000; Irbil, 864,900; Kirkuk, 755,700
Monetary unit: U.S. dollar
Languages: Arabic (official) and Kurdish
Ethnicity/race: Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%
Religions: Islam 97% (Shi'ite 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%
Agriculture: wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep.
Industries: petroleum, chemicals, textiles, construction materials, food processing.
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur.  




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