- Country name : Iraq.
- Official name : Republic of Iraq.
- System of government : Unitarian Republic.
- National anthem :
- Area : 437 072 km ².
- Capital : Baghdad.
- Border countries : Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, in border of the Persian Gulf.
- Population : 24,7 millions (2003).
- Language(s) : Arabic (official), Kurdish.
- Religions : Muslims (97 %), other among which Christians (3 %).
> Iraq possesses important oil reserves (about 10 % of the world reserves, that is the 2nd world rank) and natural gas.
>Since the nationalization of the petroleum in 1972, the country essentially developed thanks to the oil incomes. The development of the branch of industry was mainly made around the exploitation and the transformation of oil.
>Situated in the region of the Tiger and the Euphrates, traditionally agricultural, the country counted among the first exporters of dates.
>The Iraqi economy was considerably marked by the eight years of war against Iran and by the UN penalties which followed the invasion of Koweit. Since 1996, the UN " Oil for Food Programme ", softened in 1998, allowed Iraq to resume its exports of petroleum in exchange of first necessity possessions.
>Iraq is part of the former Mesopotamia, region situated between the Tiger and the Euphrates where were developed the first urban organizations (Sumerian civilization) and which saw a number of powerful empires (Akkadian, Assyrian, Persian, Roman).
>7th century: the country is occupied by the Arabs and is part of the Omeyyades Moslem Empire. In 762, under the Abbassides, Baghdad becomes a radiant capital.
>1258: the Mongols invade Iraq.
>Competed by the Persian and Ottoman Empires, the region passes under Ottoman control in 16th century until World War I.
>1920: the British, after the invasion of the country during World War I, obtain from the League of Nations a mandate on Iraq.
>1922: the country becomes a monarchy and reaches the independence in 1932.
>1945: Iraq is a founder member of the Arabic League.
>1958: the monarchy is knocked down by a coup d'état.
>1963: another coup elects the Baas party.
>1979: the vice-president Sadam Hussein becomes President.
>1980: Iraq invades Iran.
>1980-88: Iran-Irak war.
>1990: invasion of the Kuwait followed at once by a UN embargo.
>1991: Gulf War and liberation of the Kuwait by an international coalition.
>1996: the penalties are softened and a " petroleum against food " programme is set up. The penalties are softened again in 1998.
>2002: Iraq resumes its cooperation with Nations United on the visit of its sites of armament.