US Vice President Dick Cheney says Washington does not believe Iraq will become an Islamic theocracy like neighboring Iran.
Mr. Cheney told Fox News that Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has said clerics should not play a direct role in the government. Mr. Cheney was responding to a New York Times report that some Shi'ite clerics want to make Islam the guiding principle in Iraq's new constitution. Meanwhile, Iraqi officials say gunmen have abducted four Egyptians working for a telephone company. And an Islamist group that has claimed responsibility for kidnapping an Italian journalist, threatened to kill her unless Italian troops leave the country. In other violence, a U.S soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad Sunday.