Iraq Country Overview

Iraq, located in the Middle East, borders several countries including Turkey and Iran. With a population of 39.2 million, its capital, Baghdad, is the largest city. Arabic and Kurdish are the official languages, and Islam is the predominant religion. The country faces significant risks from insurgency, ethnic tensions, and corruption.

Iraq General Information

Capital: Baghdad

Language: The official languages are Arabic and Kurdish. Other recognized regional languages include Turkish, Suret, and Armenian.

Religion: The majority religion is Islam, with minority faiths including Christianity, Yazidism, Mandaeism, Yarsanism, and Zoroastrianism.

Currency: Iraqi dinar (IQD)

Cryptocurrency: Iraq has not officially adopted any cryptocurrency as legal tender.

GMT: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)


About Iraq

Iraq is a country located in the Middle East, South-West Asia, bordering Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria. It is the 35th most populous country in the world with 39.2 million inhabitants. The capital, Baghdad, is also the most populous metropolitan area with 6.6 million denizens. Arabic and Kurdish are Iraq’s official languages, although Turkmen, Syriac and Armenian are official in the small localities where native speakers are a majority. The major religion is Islam: 55-60% follow Shi’a Islam, with a further 40% following the Sunni denomination.

Iraq is currently deemed as ‘very high risk’ with regards to travel and commercial activity largely owing to the ongoing threats of insurgency, combat operations, ethnic tensions, and criminal activity. Territory controlled by Daesh has been predominantly reduced to the sparsely populated areas of the Iraqi-Syrian border in Ninewah and Anbar provinces, although they have retained the capability to enact terrorist attacks nationwide.

Corruption is endemic in Iraq, existing at numerous levels of government and society: the country is ranked at 166 of 176 in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Index. The independent Commission of Integrity, was established to prevent and investigate corruption but has had little effect, having faced significant opposition from political blocs which utilise deeply entrenched patronage networks.

Iraq’s GDP has fallen by 27% since 2014 and currently stands at US$171.49 billion but from 2018 onwards, GDP is expected to slowly, but consistently, grow. The official currency is the Iraqi Dinar.

The government is defined as an ‘Islamic, democratic, federal parliamentary republic’. The current President of the Republic is Fuad Masum, who acts as Head of State, although Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, holds executive authority for policy making. The Council of Representatives is Iraq’s elected parliamentary body, with elections held every four years.


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