Country Profile

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IRAQ  – COUNTRY PROFILE


Introduction

Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A “republic” was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of military strongmen ruled the country, the latest was SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait, but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait’s liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years resulted in the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. Coalition forces remain in Iraq, helping to restore degraded infrastructure and facilitating the establishment of a freely elected government, while simultaneously dealing with a robust insurgency. The Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government (IG) in June 2004. Iraqis voted on 30 January 2005 to elect a 275-member Transitional National Assembly that will draft a permanent constitution and pave the way for new national elections at the end of 2005.


People

Population:

26,074,906 (July 2005 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 40% (male 5,293,709/female 5,130,826)
15-64 years: 57% (male 7,530,619/female 7,338,109)
65 years and over: 3% (male 367,832/female 413,811) (2005 est.)

Median age:

total: 19.43 years
male: 19.35 years
female: 19.51 years (2005 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.41 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.05 male(s)/female
total population: 1.27 male(s)/female (2004 est.)

Religion:

Muslim 97% (Shi’a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%


Government

Government type:

none; note – the Iraqi Interim Government (IG) was appointed on 1 June 2004

Political parties and leaders:

Al-Sadr Movement [Muqtada Al-SADR]; Constitutional Monarchy Movement or CMM [Sharif Ali Bin al-HUSAYN]; Da’wa Party [Ibrahim al-JA’FARI]; Independent Iraqi Alliance or IIA [Falah al-NAQIB]; Iraqi Hizballah [Karim Mahud al-MUHAMMADAWI]; Iraqi Independent Democrats or IID [Adnan PACHACHI, Mahdi al-HAFIZ]; Iraqi Islamic Party or IIP [Muhsin Abd al-HAMID, Hajim al-HASSANI]; Iraqi National Accord or INA [Ayad ALLAWI]; Iraqi National Congress or INC [Ahmad CHALABI]; Iraqi National Unity Movement or INUM [Ahmad al-KUBAYSI, chairman]; Jama’at al Fadilah or JAF [Ayatollah Muhammad ‘ Ali al-YAQUBI]; Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Masud BARZANI]; Muslim Ulama Council or MUC [Harith Sulayman al-DARI, secretary general]; Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [Jalal TALABANI]
note: the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan, the Iraqi List, and the United Iraqi Alliance were only electoral slates consisting of the representatives from the various Iraqi political parties

Econony

GDP – per capita:

purchasing power parity – $3,500 (2004 est.)


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