TEHRAN — Iran announced Friday that it had begun pulling its foreign currency accounts out of European banks to protect its assets from possible U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program.
Analysts estimated that the amount could be as high as $50 billion, though no actual figure was announced.
Iran also called for a reduction in OPEC oil production, raising the possibility that Tehran would use oil in its standoff with the West. Iran pumps about 4 million barrels of oil a day, making it the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, after Saudi Arabia.
Iran's hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, met Friday in Damascus, Syria, with leaders from the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The meeting came a day after an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber blew himself up at a Tel Aviv restaurant, wounding 20 people. Israel accused Iran and Syria of being behind the attack, a charge both countries denied.