Iraq: A Country on the Rise


Lauterbach, Kevin
History, Period 4
January 7, 1996

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 Turkey.
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, ect.)
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 down for trading. Iraq only has one
currently open