Iraq is located on the continent of Asia. It is a part of the Middle East, a region of Asia and North Africa that nurtured some of the oldest human cultures on the planet.
Iraq borders Iran to the east, Syria and Turkey to the north, Jordan to the west and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to the south. It also has a coastline of 12 nautical miles on the Persian Gulf.
In ancient times, Iraq was known as Mesopotamia or the Fertile Crescent. A cradle of civilization, Mesopotamia was home to one of the first organized human civilizations. Though Iraq is located in Asia, it is also relatively close to Africa and Europe, making it a focal point of cultural and economic trade.