Republic of Iraq
Political Status: Independent state since 1932; declared a republic following military coup that overthrew the monarchy in 1958; provisional constitution issued September 22, 1968, and substantially amended thereafter; de facto one-party regime ousted following invasion by U.S./UK-led forces in March 2003; interim constitution (Transitional Administrative Law) adopted by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council on May 8, 2004, providing for popular election of a Transitional National Assembly; new constitution adopted by referendum on October 15, 2005, providing for popular election of a permanent National Assembly and a mixed presidential/parliamentary system.
Area: 167,924 sq. mi. (434,923 sq. km.).
Population: 22,017,983 (1997C); 29,628,000 (2006E).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): BAGHDAD (5,925,000), Irbil (Arbil, 3,216,000), al-Mawsil (Mosul, 1,325,000), Basra (1,250,000).
Official Languages: Arabic, Kurdish.
Monetary Unit: New dinar (market rate November 2, ...