As a followup to the question of sand importation, which quite obviously seems ridiculous, I found several quick reasons sand would be need to be imported.
1) the general quality of sand in Iraq is too coarse to make concrete with. I suppose they could import concrete mixes, but that's probably less easy to ship.
2) There are areas of Iraqi/Kuwaiti sand that are contaminated with depleted uranium shells; ie radioactive sand. THAT sand is being exported..here, but also went to Iraq from Kuwait.
3) Construction projects, such as those in Saudi Arabia, for land reclamation. Iraq doesn't have much of a coastline. I suppose they could be doing stuff with the rivers, but there's plenty of land (sand) already there to build on without needing land reclamation projects yet.
Noah Smith's Unpersuasive Case
2 hours ago