There are unconfirmed reports that Iran has started transferring money from European banks and is investing heavily in gold. Tehran will not comment on the reports, but if true, the move would reflect a heightened concern that financial sanctions could be imposed over Iran’s nuclear programme. EU countries are trying to refer the Islamic republic to the UN Security Council because of its refusal to suspend a uranium enrichment programme and it is possible that sanctions could be imposed on Iran this year. The two banks are also understood to be stopping any new business with Syria.