Middle East :: Iraq

Introduction ::Iraq

    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 strongmen ruled the country until 2003. The last 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 led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces. In October 2005, Iraqis approved a constitution in a national referendum and, pursuant to this document, elected a 275-member Council of Representatives (COR) in December 2005. The COR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006, marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. In January 2009, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three governorates comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010 - choosing 325 legislators in an expanded COR - and, after nine months of deadlock the COR approved the new government in December 2010. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011.

Geography ::Iraq

    Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait
    33 00 N, 44 00 E
    total: 438,317 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 59
    land: 437,367 sq km
    water: 950 sq km
    slightly more than twice the size of Idaho
    total: 3,650 km
    border countries: Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 240 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 352 km
    58 km
    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
    mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
    lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
    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
    petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
    arable land: 9.19%
    permanent crops: 0.48%
    other: 90.33% (2011)
    35,250 sq km (2003)
    89.86 cu km (2011)
    total: 66 cu km/yr (7%/15%/79%)
    per capita: 2,616 cu m/yr (2000)
    dust storms; sandstorms; floods
    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
    party to: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
    strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf

People and Society ::Iraq

    noun: Iraqi(s)
    adjective: Iraqi
    Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%
    Arabic (official), Kurdish (official), Turkmen (a Turkish dialect) and Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic) are official in areas where they constitute a majority of the population), Armenian
    Muslim (official) 97% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%
    note: while there has been voluntary relocation of many Christian families to northern Iraq, recent reporting indicates that the overall Christian population may have dropped by as much as 50 percent since the fall of the Saddam HUSSEIN regime in 2003, with many fleeing to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon
    31,858,481 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    0-14 years: 37.2% (male 6,029,869/female 5,818,752)
    15-24 years: 19.6% (male 3,175,754/female 3,082,880)
    25-54 years: 35.8% (male 5,823,608/female 5,585,217)
    55-64 years: 4.2% (male 637,889/female 698,691)
    65 years and over: 3.2% (male 467,858/female 537,963) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 76.2 %
    youth dependency ratio: 70.6 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.6 %
    potential support ratio: 17.8 (2013)
    total: 21.3 years
    male: 21.2 years
    female: 21.4 years (2013 est.)
    2.29% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    27.51 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    4.65 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    urban population: 66.5% of total population (2011)
    rate of urbanization: 3.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    BAGHDAD (capital) 5.751 million; Mosul 1.447 million; Erbil 1.009 million; Basra 923,000; As Sulaymaniyah 836,000 (2009)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    63 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    total: 38.86 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 62
    male: 42.98 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 34.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 71.14 years
    country comparison to the world: 147
    male: 69.67 years
    female: 72.67 years (2013 est.)
    3.5 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    51.2% (2011)
    8.4% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    0.69 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 91% of population
    rural: 56% of population
    total: 79% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 9% of population
    rural: 44% of population
    total: 21% of population (2010 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 76% of population
    rural: 67% of population
    total: 73% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 24% of population
    rural: 33% of population
    total: 27% of population (2010 est.)
    less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    fewer than 500 (2003 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    NA
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)
    27% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    7.1% (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    NA
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 78.5%
    male: 86%
    female: 71.2% (2011 est.)
    total: 10 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 9 years (2004)
    total number: 715,737
    percentage: 11 % (2006 est.)

Government ::Iraq

    conventional long form: Republic of Iraq
    conventional short form: Iraq
    local long form: Jumhuriyat al-Iraq/Komar-i Eraq
    local short form: Al Iraq/Eraq
    parliamentary democracy
    name: Baghdad
    geographic coordinates: 33 20 N, 44 24 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    18 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah (Arabic); parezgakan, singular - parezga (Kurdish)) and 1 region*; Al Anbar; Al Basrah; Al Muthanna; Al Qadisiyah (Ad Diwaniyah); An Najaf; Arbil (Erbil) (Arabic), Hewler (Kurdish); As Sulaymaniyah (Arabic), Slemani (Kurdish); Babil; Baghdad; Dahuk (Arabic), Dihok (Kurdish); Dhi Qar; Diyala; Karbala'; Kirkuk; Kurdistan Regional Government*; Maysan; Ninawa; Salah ad Din; Wasit
    3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration); note - on 28 June 2004 the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government
    Republic Day, July 14 (1958); note - the Government of Iraq has yet to declare an official national holiday but still observes Republic Day
    ratified 15 October 2005 (subject to review by the Constitutional Review Committee and a possible public referendum)
    mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Jalal TALABANI (since 6 April 2005)
    head of government: Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI (since 20 May 2006)
    cabinet: The Council of Ministers consists of the prime minister and cabinet ministers the prime minister proposes; approved by an absolute majority vote by the Council of Representatives
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by Council of Representatives (parliament) to serve a four-year term (eligible for a second term); presidential election in parliament last held on 11 November 2010 (next to be held in 2014)
    election results: President Jalal TALABANI reelected on 11 November 2010; Council of Representatives vote count on second ballot - 195 votes; Nuri al-MALIKI reelected prime minister
    unicameral Council of Representatives (325 seats consisting of 317 members elected by an optional open-list and representing a specific governorate, proportional representation system and 8 seats reserved for minorities; members serve four-year terms); note - Iraq's Constitution calls for the establishment of an upper house, the Federation Council
    elections: last held on 7 March 2010 for an enlarged 325-seat parliament (next to be held in 2014)
    election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by coalition - Iraqi National Movement 25.9%, State of Law coalition 25.8%, Iraqi National Alliance 19.4%, Kurdistan Alliance 15.3%, Goran (Change) List 4.4%, Tawafuq Front 2.7%, Iraqi Unity Alliance 2.9%, Kurdistan Islamic Union 2.3%, Kurdistan Islamic Group 1.4%; seats by coalition - NA
    highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court or FSC (consists of 9 judges); note - court jurisdiction limited to constitutional issues); Court of Cassation (consists of a court president, 5 vice-presidents, and at least 24 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Federal Supreme Court and Court of Cassation judges appointed by the Higher Juridical Council, a 26-member independent committee of judicial officials; FSC members appointed for life ; Court of Cassation judges appointed for 1-year probationary period and upon satisfactory performance may be confirmed for permanent tenure until retirement at age 63
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (governorate level); courts of first instance; personal status, labor, criminal, juvenile, and religious courts
    Badr Organization [Hadi al-AMIRI]
    Da'wa Party (Islamic) [Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI]
    Da'wa Tanzim [Hashim al-MUSAWI branch]
    Da-wa Tanzim [Abd al-Karim al-ANZI branch]
    Fadilah Party [Hasan al-SHAMMARI and Ammar TUAMA]
    Goran (Change) List (also known as the Movement for Change) [Nushirwan MUSTAFA]
    Iraqi Covenant Gathering [Ahmad Abd al-Ghafur al-SAMARRAI]
    Iraqi Constitutional Party [Jawad al-BULANI]
    Iraqi Front for National Dialogue [Deputy Prime Minister Salih al-MUTLAQ]
    Iraqi Islamic Party or IIP [Usama al-TIKRITI]
    Iraqi Justice and Reform Movement [Shaykh Abdallah al-YAWR]
    Iraqi National Accord or INA [Ayad ALLAWI]
    Iraqi National Alliance [Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
    Iraqi National Congress or INC [Ahmad CHALABI]
    Iraqi National Movement (see Iraqi National Accord)
    Iraqi Unity Alliance [Nauaf Saud ZAID]
    Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI [Ammar al-HAKIM]
    Kurdistan Alliance
    Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Kurdistan Regional Government President Masud BARZANI]
    Kurdistan Islamic Group (also called Islamic Group of Kurdistan) [Ali BAPIR]
    Kurdistan Islamic Union [ Mohammed FARAI]
    Future National Gathering [Finance Minister Rafi al-ISSAWI]
    National Iraqiyun Gathering [Usama al-NUJAYFI]
    National Movement for Reform and Development [Jamal al-KARBULI]
    National Reform Trend (part of the National Iraqi Alliance) [former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
    Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [President Jalal TALABANI]
    Renewal List [Vice President Tariq al-HASHIMI]
    Sadrist Trend [Muqtada al-SADR]
    Sahawa al-Iraq [Ahmad al-RISHAWI]
    State of Law Coalition [Nouri al-MALIKI]
    Tawafuq Front (also known as the Iraqi Accord Front)
    note:
    numerous smaller local, tribal, and minority parties
    Sunni militias
    Shia militias, some associated with political parties
    ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CICA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Luqman Abd al-Rahim FAYLI
    chancery: 3421 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 742-1600
    FAX: [1] (202) 333-1129
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
    chief of mission: Ambassador Robert Stephen BEECROFT
    embassy: Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad
    mailing address: APO AE 09316
    telephone: 0760-030-3000
    FAX: NA
    three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning "God is great") in green Arabic script is centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white); the Council of Representatives approved this flag in 2008 as a compromise temporary replacement for the Ba'athist Saddam-era flag
    note: similar to the flag of Syria, which has two stars but no script, Yemen, which has a plain white band, and that of Egypt, which has a gold Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band
    golden eagle
    name: "Mawtini" (My Homeland)

    lyrics/music: Ibrahim TOUQAN/Mohammad FLAYFEL
    note: adopted 2004; following the ousting of Saddam HUSSEIN, Iraq adopted "Mawtini," a popular folk song throughout the Arab world, which also serves as an unofficial anthem of the Palestinian people

Economy ::Iraq

    An improving security environment and foreign investment are helping to spur economic activity, particularly in the energy, construction, and retail sectors. Broader economic development, long-term fiscal health, and sustained improvements in the overall standard of living still depend on the central government passing major policy reforms. Iraq's largely state-run economy is dominated by the oil sector, which provides more than 90% of government revenue and 80% of foreign exchange earnings. Iraq in 2012 boosted oil exports to a 30-year high of 2.6 million barrels per day, a significant increase from Iraq's average of 2.2 million in 2011. Government revenues increased as global oil prices remained persistently high for much of 2012. Iraq's contracts with major oil companies have the potential to further expand oil exports and revenues, but Iraq will need to make significant upgrades to its oil processing, pipeline, and export infrastructure to enable these deals to reach their economic potential. The Iraqi Kurdistan Region's (IKR) autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) passed its own oil law in 2007, and has directly signed about 50 contracts to develop IKR energy reserves. The federal government has disputed the legal authority of the KRG to conclude most of these contracts, some of which are also in areas with unresolved administrative boundaries in dispute between the federal and regional government. Iraq is making slow progress enacting laws and developing the institutions needed to implement economic policy, and political reforms are still needed to assuage investors' concerns regarding the uncertain business climate, which may have been harmed by the November 2012 standoff between Baghdad and Erbil and the removal of the Central Bank Governor in October 2012. The government of Iraq is eager to attract additional foreign direct investment, but it faces a number of obstacles including a tenuous political system and concerns about security and societal stability. Rampant corruption, outdated infrastructure, insufficient essential services, skilled labor shortages, and antiquated commercial laws stifle investment and continue to constrain growth of private, nonoil sectors. Iraq is considering a package of laws to establish a modern legal framework for the oil sector and a mechanism to equitably divide oil revenues within the nation, although these reforms are still under contentious and sporadic negotiation. Under the Iraqi Constitution, some competencies relevant to the overall investment climate are either shared by the federal government and the regions or are devolved entirely to the regions. Investment in the IKR operates within the framework of the Kurdistan Region Investment Law (Law 4 of 2006) and the Kurdistan Board of Investment, which is designed to provide incentives to help economic development in areas under the authority of the KRG. Inflation has remained under control since 2006 as security improved. However, Iraqi leaders remain hard pressed to translate macroeconomic gains into an improved standard of living for the Iraqi populace. Unemployment remains a problem throughout the country despite a bloated public sector. Encouraging private enterprise through deregulation would make it easier for Iraqi citizens and foreign investors to start new businesses. Rooting out corruption and implementing reforms - such as restructuring banks and developing the private sector - would be important steps in this direction.
    $242.5 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    $223.7 billion (2011 est.)
    $206 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $212.5 billion (2012 est.)
    8.4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    8.6% (2011 est.)
    5.9% (2010 est.)
    $7,200 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    $6,800 (2011 est.)
    $6,500 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    agriculture: 3.4%
    industry: 64.9%
    services: 31.7% (2012 est.)
    wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry
    petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing
    11.3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    8.9 million (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    agriculture: 21.6%
    industry: 18.7%
    services: 59.8% (2008 est.)
    16% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    15% (2010 est.)
    25% (2008 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.6%
    highest 10%: 25.7% (2007 est.)
    revenues: $103.4 billion
    expenditures: $88.34 billion (2012 est.)
    48.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    7.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    calendar year
    6.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    5.6% (2011 est.)
    6% (December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    6% (December 2011)
    6% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    6% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $54.68 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    $53.4 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $71.48 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    $61.81 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.779 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    $1.727 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $4 billion (9 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    $2.6 billion (31 July 2010)
    $2 billion (31 July 2009 est.)
    $20.63 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    $21.68 billion (2011 est.)
    $93.91 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $79.68 billion (2011 est.)
    crude oil 84%, crude materials excluding fuels, food and live animals
    US 21.4%, India 21.1%, China 13.8%, South Korea 11.2%, Canada 4.8%, Italy 4.5%, Spain 4.3% (2012)
    $56.89 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    $40.63 billion (2011 est.)
    food, medicine, manufactures
    Turkey 27.8%, Syria 15.9%, China 12.6%, US 5.2%, South Korea 4.8% (2012)
    $70.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    $61.04 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $50.26 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    $50.79 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Iraqi dinars (IQD) per US dollar -
    1,166 (2012 est.)
    1,170 (2011 est.)
    1,170 (2010 est.)
    1,170 (2009)
    1,176 (2008)

Energy ::Iraq

Communications ::Iraq

    1.794 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    27 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    general assessment: the 2003 liberation of Iraq severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq including international connections; widespread government efforts to rebuild domestic and international communications through fiber optic links are in progress; the mobile cellular market has expanded rapidly to some 27 million subscribers by the end of 2012
    domestic: repairs to switches and lines destroyed during 2003 continue; additional switching capacity is improving access; 3 GSM operators since 2007 have expanded beyond their regional roots and offer near country-wide access to second-generation services; third-generation mobile services are not available nationwide; wireless local loop is available in some metropolitan areas and additional licenses have been issued with the hope of overcoming the lack of fixed-line infrastructure
    international: country code - 964; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region, and 1 Arabsat (inoperative)); local microwave radio relay connects border regions to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey; international terrestrial fiber-optic connections have been established with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Jordan, and Iran; links to the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) and the Gulf Bridge International (GBI) submarine fiber-optic cables have been established (2011)
    the number of private radio and TV stations has increased rapidly since 2003; government-owned TV and radio stations are operated by the publicly funded Iraqi Public Broadcasting Service; private broadcast media are mostly linked to political, ethnic, or religious groups; satellite TV is available to an estimated 70% of viewers and many of the broadcasters are based abroad; transmissions of multiple international radio broadcasters are accessible (2007)
    .iq
    26 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    325,900 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 126

Transportation ::Iraq

    102 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    total: 72
    over 3,047 m: 20
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 34
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 7
    under 914 m: 7 (2013)
    total: 30
    over 3,047 m: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 13
    under 914 m:
    6 (2013)
    16 (2013)
    gas 2,455 km; liquid petroleum gas 913 km; oil 5,432 km; refined products 1,637 km (2013)
    total: 2,370 km
    country comparison to the world: 66
    standard gauge: 2,370 km 1.435-m gauge (2012)
    total: 59,623 km
    country comparison to the world: 73
    paved: 59,623 km (includes Kurdistan Region) (2012)
    5,279 km (the Euphrates River (2,815 km), Tigris River (1,899 km), and Third River (565 km) are the principal waterways) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    total: 2
    country comparison to the world: 142
    by type: petroleum tanker 2
    registered in other countries: 2 (Marshall Islands 2) (2010)
    Al Basrah, Khawr az Zubayr, Umm Qasr

Military ::Iraq

Transnational Issues ::Iraq

    approximately two million Iraqis have fled the conflict in Iraq, with the majority taking refuge in Syria and Jordan, and lesser numbers to Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, and Turkey; Iraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Turkey has expressed concern over the autonomous status of Kurds in Iraq
    refugees (country of origin): 15,496 (Turkey); 11,467 (West Bank and Gaza Strip); 8,259 (Iran) (2012); 183,195 (Syria) (2013)
    IDPs: 1.1 million (since 2006 from ethno-sectarian violence) (2013)
    stateless persons: 120,000 (2012); note - in the 1970s and 1980s under Saddam Hussein's administration, thousands of Iraq's Faili Kurds, followers of Shia Islam, were stripped of their Iraqi citizenship, had their property seized by the government, and many were deported; some Faili Kurds had their citizenship reinstated under the 2006 Iraqi Nationality Law, but others lack the documentation to prove their Iraqi origins; some Palestinian refugees, who were also persecuted under the Saddam Hussein regime, still remain stateless in Iraq