The meeting with Wang Yi in Beijing, at China's invitation, is Zarif's first stop on a diplomatic tour after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 deal to limit Iran's nuclear program and threatened to reimpose the "highest level" of financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Under the deal signed in Vienna with six world powers - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the US, Germany, and the European Union - Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
After meeting his counterpart in Beijing, Mr Zarif said: "We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement".
Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, said he feared that European Union negotiations with Mr Zarif and later with...
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The trip comes less than a week after President Donald Trump announced that the USA was walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which he described as a terrible deal.
State news agency IRNA confirmed Zarif departed in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It reiterated that Iran was preparing to resume "industrial scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe provided solid guarantees it could maintain trade ties despite renewed United States sanctions.
"It's really annoying that the Iranian government is never blamed for the really bad decisions they have taken lately concerning business, and only the sanctions are blamed", she said.
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Political observers point to the timing of the Israeli attack which came right after Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA, saying it was aimed at complicating the diplomatic push to keep the nuclear deal in one piece.
All foreign businesses operating in Iran will be required to "wind down" activities or "risk severe consequences", the statement added, in effect threatening billions of dollars worth of business deals.
"China and Iran have comprehensive strategic partnership and are trade partners and these relations still continue", he noted.
Historic deal on Iran's nuclear program from 2015 provides for the removal of sanctions against Iran in exchange for limiting its opportunities for the enrichment and storage of nuclear materials.
Syrian air defenses destroy much of Israeli missiles: army
Iranian media described the Israeli attack as "unprecedented", but there was no official Iranian comment on Israel's claims. Israel bombed weapons storehouses, logistics sites and intelligence centers, as well as Syrian missile defense systems.