Iran has negotiated a 25-year deal with China, and conditions will be announced as soon as an agreement is reached, the foreign minister told a stormy parliamentary session on Sunday.
"We are negotiating a 25-year strategic agreement with China with confidence and conviction," said Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's most important trading partner.
Zarif was harassed by lawmakers during the meeting, primarily because of his key role in negotiating a 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers, which the United States unilaterally abandoned in 2018 to rein in biting sanctions.
It was his first address to parliament since a new house began operating in late May after elections dominated by conservatives and ultra-conservatives.
Zarif insisted that the upcoming China deal was "nothing mysterious".
The nation will be informed "after an agreement has been reached," he said, adding that the intention had already been released in January 2016 when President Xi Jinping visited Tehran.
China is also a key market for Iranian crude oil exports, which have been severely restricted by US sanctions.
The 2015 nuclear deal had freed the Islamic Republic from international sanctions in return for limiting its nuclear program, but the Iranian conservatives firmly opposed this multilateral agreement, arguing that the U.S. could never be trusted.
The top Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has spoken out publicly for a strategic bilateral partnership with China.
The planned China deal has been a hot topic on Iranian social media since populist ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced ongoing negotiations with a foreign country last month.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)