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Iran 'moves financial holdings'

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Iran's President Ahmadinejad (2nd right) was in Syria this week.

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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Amid the threat of possible U.N. economic sanctions, Iran announced Friday it is transferring its foreign exchange accounts out of U.S. and European banks, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Ibrahim Sheibani, the head of Iran's Central Bank, said the Islamic state will transfer all of its foreign accounts related to its oil income to Southeast Asian banks, according to the conservative news agency.

The United States and Europe could block Iran's foreign accounts if the U.N. imposes economic sanctions on Iran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has called an emergency meeting on February 2 to discuss Iran's resumption of nuclear activities.

Three European nations -- Britain, France and Germany, known as the EU3 -- referred the issue to the IAEA, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, after a stalemate in negotiations with Iran.

The issue is expected to be referred to the U.N. Security Council, which could impose economic sanctions on the Islamic state.

Iran recently broke the seals on its Natanz uranium enrichment plant to resume what it says is nuclear research.

The United States and the EU3 want Iran to halt all nuclear activity, fearing it may try to build a nuclear weapon under the guise of a nuclear energy program.

Iran's Economic Minister Danesh Jafari said the transfer of funds is legal under international law.

CNN stringer Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report

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