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Country Profile - Iraq

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

Iraq remains a high risk country from the perspective of security but also doing business there. Understanding the culture and not just the law are key to operating in Iraq.

Iraq

General Information:

 Capital: Baghdad

Language: Arabic (official), Kurdish (official), Turkmen (a Turkish dialect), Syriac (Neo-Aramaic), and Armenian are official in areas where native speakers of these languages constitute a majority of the population

Religion:  Muslim (official) 95-98% (Shia 64-69%, Sunni 29-34%), Christian 1% (includes Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Assyrian Church of the East), other 1-4% (2015 est.)

note: while there has been voluntary relocation of many Christian families to northern Iraq, the overall Christian population has decreased at least 50% and perhaps as high as 90% since the fall of the SADDAM Husayn regime in 2003, according to US Embassy estimates, with many fleeing to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Currency: Rial

Cryptocurrency: The Central Bank of Iraq prevents the use and promotion of cryptocurrency. Furthermore, those found carrying out transactions in cryptocurrency may be prosecuted under pre-existing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.

GMT: (+) 3

Iraq, which occupies an area once home to some of the earliest known civilisations, became a battleground for competing forces after the US-led ouster of President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The mainly Shia-led governments that have held power since then have struggled to maintain order, and the country has enjoyed only brief periods of respite from high levels of sectarian violence.

Instability and sabotage have hindered efforts to rebuild an economy shattered by decades of conflict and sanctions, even though Iraq has the world’s second largest reserves of crude oil.

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