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Putin Says Iran's Nuke Plant Should Be On Line by Summer

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Iran's first nuclear power plant, which Russia is building, should come online this summer, Russian news agencies reported.

"The launch of the first unit of Iran's nuclear power station should be implemented already this summer," Putin was quoted as saying at a meeting on nuclear industry matters in the city of Volgodonsk in southern Russia.

Russia has been helping Iran build the plant in the southern city of Bushehr since the mid-90s but its launch has been marred by a series of delays and setbacks.

Putin's comment represents one of the clearest recent statements by a Russian official about when the controversial facility will finally come online, at a time when Tehran is accused by the West of planning to build a nuclear bomb.