Iranian Vice-President Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also head of the country's Atomic Energy Organisation, on Friday said China would play "a leading role" in redesigning the Arak heavy-water reactor to significantly reduce its plutonium output. Selahi's comment, made as he wrapped up his meeting with Chinese nuclear experts and officials in Beijing, again highlighted China's role in the recent nuclear deal reached by Iran and the world powers, as well as the two countries' close cooperation in energy projects. As one of the key elements of the deal on Iran's nuclear programme with the P5+1 group - comprising China, Russia, the United States, Britain, France and Germany - Iran has agreed to redesign the Arak reactor, which is already in its final stage of construction, to reduce its annual plutonium production from 10kg to less than 1kg to "remove the concerns", according to Salehi. "China has accepted … a leading role in a working group that would look into the redesign and refurbishing of Arak. Americans will also participate very seriously," he said. Salehi held meetings with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and China Atomic Energy Authority chairman Xu Dazhe. Under the nuclear deal framework, a trilateral meeting between China, Iran and the US was expected to take place in mid-September on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency's general conference, despite internal political wrestling between the congress and the administration on the deal within the US , according to Salehi. The Iranian vice-president said the country was also seeking Chinese assistance to build two small nuclear reactors with a capacity of 100 megawatts each. The two sides had discussed the issue "at length" and were expected to close deals "in the coming months", he said. China had "indicated readiness" to finance the projects, he added. Salehi said Iran would also look into the possibility of building larger nuclear power plants, with capacities of 1,000MW each, as the country aims to build 20,000MW of nuclear power capacity in 30 years. Iran has previously signed agreements with Russia to build two 1,000MW nuclear reactors. With economic sanctions on Iran lifted after the implementation of the nuclear deal, the multibillion-dollar trade relationship between China and Iran is set to expand. China is expected to invest more heavily in Iran's oil, gas and industrial sectors. Foreign Minister Wang was earlier quoted by state-run Xinhua as saying the deal "created more favourable conditions for the development of the China-Iran relationship".