The Republic of Iraq
Iraq is a large country, occupying a central position in the Middle East and bordering six states: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iran. The country comprises main physiographic regions: the mountains adjacent to Turkey in the north-east, the desert to the south-west shared with Saudi Arabia, and the central fertile basin either side of the Tigris and Euphrates. Iraq’s economy is firmly directed by central government, whose objective is to expand the ‘socialist sector’ to encompass eventually the entire economy. Since the revolution of July 1968, a path of socialist development has been rigidly adhered to, without cost at times to various minority groups and often with little regard to humanitarian and social issues. The rapprochement between Iraq and Syria in 1979 enabled Iraq to re-open her railway links with Europe and the oil pipeline to the west.