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Top 3 Political Stories of the Day

Iran wants to improve bilateral relations with the United States and other Western powers, President Hassan Rouhani said in comments published in a German newspaper on Monday, broaching an issue he has so far avoided since he took office. Rouhani won a landslide election victory in June promising a policy of engagement with the West and has had regular diplomatic contacts with the United States, but they have been limited to negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program. "We want to rebuild and improve our relations to European and North American countries on a basis of mutual respect," he said. A media report said Bangladesh's main opposition Dec. 24 urged people from all walks of life to march towards Dhaka Dec 29 to stall the country's upcoming parliamentary elections. Led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party asked people from across the country to gather in front of the party's central office in the capital, The Daily Star reported. The march is another attempt by the opposition to force the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League government to scrap the Jan 5 elections. Bangladesh is witnessing widespread violence with the BNP-led 18-party opposition pushing for postponement of the polls and indulging in violence. Senior Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi said Dec. 24 a section within the Congress was opposed to extending support to the Aam Aadmi Party to help it form the government in Delhi. "There are divergent views within the Congress on extending support to the AAP. "Congress will have to take middle path on the issue." He said the party should perhaps have played the role of opposition and raised people's issues as it failed to win the public mandate. Dwivedi said the Congress, which ruled Delhi uninterruptedly for 15 years, changed the city for good.

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