Salehi also told an audience of researchers and diplomats that China could trust Iran as a stable supplier of oil to fuel its rapidly growing economy.
"We said we are ready to receive experts from China, nuclear experts, to come and visit our nuclear installations in Iran," Salehi said, describing his meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
"Rarely any country in the world opens up its nuclear facilities and institutes to the outside world, but since we are certain of the peacefulness of our nuclear activity, we have extended this invitation to a friendly country like China," said Salehi, who previously ran Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation.
"We extend the same invitation to the five plus one, if they want to come and see," he said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment on Salehi's offer. Foreign Minister Yang told Salehi that China wanted to "constantly advance bilateral relations."
Salehi stressed Iran's importance as an oil supplier in his comments at the China Institute of International Studies, a government-run think tank.
"It's probably one of the few -- I'm not saying the only -- reliable sources of energy that China can depend on, so looking from this perspective, China and Iran they need each other," he said, adding that his government did not come "under the influence" of other world powers.
Trade between Iran and China grew to $29.4 billion in 2010, a rise of 38.5 percent on the previous year, reflecting the oil trade and growing Chinese exports to Iran.
Salehi said that trade could grow to $50 billion "in the next few years".