Republic of Iraq
Map of Iraq and space view of Zagros mountains from space
Republic of Iraq is a country spanning most of the northwestern end of
the Zagros mountain range, the
eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian
Iraq has a narrow section of coastline measuring 58 kms on the northern
Persian Gulf. The capital,
Baghdad is in the center-east of the country. The population of Baghdad
as of 2011 is approximately
7,200,000, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second-largest city
in the Arab World, after Cairo, Egypt.
The 13th century painting of Mongol soldiers, the conversion of Ghazan
Khan to Islam and Ghazan on his horse
Iraq is comparable in size to the US state of California. Iraq mainly consists
of desert, but near the two
major rivers, Euphrates and Tigris, are fertile alluvial plains, as the
rivers carry about 60,000,000 sqms of
silt annually to the delta. The north of the country is mostly composed
of mountains. Iraq has a small
coastline measuring 58 kms along the Persian Gulf.
Iraq ranks second in the world behind Saudi Arabia in the amount of Oil
reserves, yet the United States
Department of Energy estimates that up to 90% of the country remains unexplored.
Iraq's oil production
costs are among the lowest in the world, but only 2,000 oil wells have
been drilled in Iraq, compared with
one million wells in Texas alone.
Topographic map of Iraq.
Oil fire at the Rumaila oil field in 2003
In March 2003, a United States-organized coalition invaded Iraq, with the
stated reason, which Iraq
had failed to abandon its nuclear and chemical weapons' development program
in violation of U.N.
President Bush declared that Iraq was a member of the "Axis of Evil"
and that, like North Korea
and Iran, Iraq's attempt to acquire weapons of mass destruction posed a
serious threat to U.S.
national security. These claims were based on documents that were provided
to him by the CIA
and the government of the United Kingdom. However, according to a comprehensive
report, no weapons of mass destruction was found. After over seven years'
occupation, U.S. forces
ended combat missions in Iraq in August 2010.
Iraq's parliament bans smoking in public places.
The Iraqi parliament in February 2012 approved an anti-smoking law that
stipulates about $8.50
fine for smoking in public, in a country where such smoking is a fixture.
Smoking in government
offices, schools, universities, hospitals, airports, offices, theatres,
gathering places, hotels, restaurants,
nightclubs, markets and petrol stations will be banned.The law aims to
protect citizens from the
danger of tobacco and reduce the number of smokers by taking measures to
combat this plague.
It is based on Article 33 of the constitution, which describes that every
individual has the right
to live in safe environmental conditions.
Source: AFP Feb 2, 2012 Baghdad
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This information was provided by the Smokefree Hotel and Travel.
The article was written in February 2012, by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D., PhD.