Lauterbach, Kevin
History, Period 4
January 7, 1996

Iraq: A Country on the Rise

Iraq is a country that is on the rise. After being crushed by allied troops for their
invasion of Kuwait, they have begun the slow rebuilding process. In this report, I will
discuss the basic geographic features of Iraq, and other various important features such as
mineral wealth, vegetation, ect.
Iraq\'s total area is 271,128 square miles (just slightly more than twice the size of
Idaho). It\'s capital, Baghdad, is located at 33.20 north longitude, 44.24 east latitude. It\'s
boundaries are 2,222 miles long. With 906 miles bordering Iran, 83 miles bordering
Jordan, 149 miles bordering Kuwait, 502 miles bordering Saudi Arabia, 376 miles
bordering Turkey, and a coastline 36 miles long. The terrain in Iraq is mostly broad
plains, with reedy marshes in the southeast, mountains along toe borders with Iran and
The Climate in Iraq is most desert, with mild to cool winters and dry, hot
cloudless summers. The northernmost regions along Iranian and Turkish borders
experience cold winters and occasional heavy snows. Iraq has few natural resources,
consisting of Crude oil, natural gas, various phosphates, and sulfur. Their maritime
(ocean) clams are just the continental shelf on their coastline, and twelve nautical miles
beyond that.
Iraq and Iran have just recently restored diplomatic relations in the year 1990, but
are still trying to work out written agreements settling their disputes from their eight-year
war concerning definite borders, prisoners-of-war, and freedom of navigation and
sovereignty over the Shatt-al-Arab waterway. In April of 1991, Iraq officially accepted
the UN Security Council\'s Resolution 687, which states that Iraq accepts the boundaries
that were set in it\'s 1963 agreement with Kuwait, and ending all claims to the Bubiyan
and Warbah Islands, and all claims to Kuwait. On June 17, 1992, the UN Security
council reaffirmed the finality of the Boundary Demarcation Commission\'s decisions.
Disputes also occur with Syria about water rights on the Euphrates, and a potential
dispute with Turkey for the Tigris and Euphrates river.
Iraq has some environmental problems, consisting of air and water pollution, soil
degradation (caused by salinization), land erosion, and deserification. Iraq has 12% of
it\'s land still arable, with 1% permanent crops, 9% meadows and pastures, 3% forest and
wood land, 4% irrigated farm land, and 75% is used for other various things (housing,
Iraq does not produce very many industrial products. On the average year, Iraq
produces 13,000 metric tons of paper and paperboard, 3,000 metric tons of particle
board, 8,000 sawnwood, 207,000 metric tons of phosphate fertilizer, and 409,000 metric
tons of nitrogen fertilizer.
Iraq currently has 1,300,000 televisions in use (about 69 per 1,000 people). It
also has 3,880,000 radios in use (about 205 per 1,000 people). Iraq has 6 newspaper
publications, with a circulation of 650,000 a day (about 34 per 1,000 people). This
causes a 1,797 kilograms of newsprint to be consumed per 1,000 people. Iraq has one
FM station and 16 AM broadcast stations, and 13 TV stations. Reconstruction of Iraq\'s
telecommunication system began after Desert Storm was over. It includes of many
coaxial cables and microwave links, 632,000 telephones (with an operational network),
satellite earth stations, 1 INTELSAT satellite and 1 GORIZONT satellite over the
Atlantic Ocean, 1 INTELSAT satellite over the Indian Ocean, and 1 ARABSAT in the
Intersputnik system. Their country telephone code is 964.
In Iraq, travel can be very shaky. International flight schedules can change
without prior notice. The Al-Basrah and Umm Qasar Seaports are closed because of
their proximity to the war zone. A railroad connects At-Basrah to Baghdad, but the
Syrian segment of the railroad linking Iraq to Turkey and Europe has been closed since
1982. Border crossing points between and Iraq and Syria and Iraq and Iran have been
closed. Iraq has paved highways connecting major cites and neighboring countries.
Some highways have been severely deteriorated due to increased use by heavy military
and commercial vehicles.
Iraq has 21,566 total miles of highways, with 10,876 miles of it being paved, and
the other 11,000 miles being improved earth. It has 2,704 miles of crude oil pipelines,
451 miles of petroleum pipelines, and 845 miles of natural gas pipelines. It has 1,527
miles of railroad. Iraq has 42 ships registered to it. Including of 1 passenger, 1
passenger/cargo, 16 cargo, 1 refrigerated cargo, 3 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 19 petroleum
tankers, and 1 chemical tanker. But since January 1, 1992, none of them have been
trading internationally. Iraq has about 631 miles of inland waterways to trade amongst it
self. After the Persian Gulf war, Shatt-al-Arab was closed