Mesopotamia, Sumer, Assyria, Ur, Babylon – the rich history of Iraq has given much to modern civilization, but its more recent history has led to deep fissures within the country. It is crucial that firms wishing to enter Iraq understand how ethnic, religious, and political issues affect the operating environment on both a national and local scale.
Iraq is divided into 18 provinces, each of which are composed of local districts. According to the Iraqi constitution (Chapter 5, Part 1), any province or group of provinces can form an autonomous region via referendum. To date, the only autonomous region is Iraqi Kurdistan, but other provinces – notably Basra – have had significant political movements for autonomy.
From an American business perspective, Iraq can be thought of as 7 areas:
From North to South: