Chinese President Xi Jinping, visiting Iran just days after the lifting of international sanctions under a historic nuclear deal, says he hopes for a "new chapter" in relations.

Xi met with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Saturday, during the first visit to the country by a Chinese president in 14 years.

Trade between the two countries stood at some $52 billion dollars in 2014, but that figure dropped last year due to plunging oil prices.

China is one of six world powers -- along with the U.S., Germany, France, Britain and Russia -- that reached an agreement with Iran last summer to lift international sanctions in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program. The deal was implemented a week ago.