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ZTE also is required to change its board of directors and executive team within 30 days.

Total US penalties imposed on ZTE now amount to $2.3 billion, according to the Commerce Department.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is now in Beijing for trade talks with China and told CNBC that a deal worth $1.4 billion had been struck.

A USA investigation into ZTE was launched after Reuters reported in 2012 the company had signed contracts to ship hardware and software worth millions of dollars to Iran from some of the best-known us technology companies.

US companies such as Acacia and Lumentum had been barred from selling devices to ZTE, China's second-biggest telecom gear maker behind Huawei.

"This is a pretty strict settlement". The ban also hurt American companies that supply ZTE.

ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Chinese telecom giant ZTE said its major operations had ceased following last month's USA ban on American sales of critical technology to the company.

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The US government will let ZTE use American-made electronics again, as the result of a settlement following the Chinese smartphone-maker exporting technology to Iran and North Korea.

In April, the commerce department barred ZTE from importing American components for seven years, having concluded that it deceived USA regulators after it settled charges last year of sanctions violations.

The company was fined $1.2 billion previous year.

Under the deal, the ban is suspended for 10 years and can be activated by Commerce should the company commit additional violations during that decade-long "probationary period", the department said in a statement announcing the agreement.

The U.S. has reached a deal to lift sanctions on Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE. The two countries have threatened to impose tariffs on up to $200 billion worth of each other's products. Chinese telecom firms like ZTE and Huawei are suspected of having ties to the Chinese military, and their products already are banned on many United States military bases. Both companies' share prices rose Thursday, with NXP up more than 6 percent in midday trading.

In return, the United States will be suspending - but not removing - the United States technology export ban that has caused the company to grind to a halt to begin with. The Pentagon in May ordered retail outlets on USA military bases to remove from the shelves smartphones made by the two companies. "We can not move forward with this danger to national security without doing something about ZTE".

Thursday's agreement was "a prerequisite for making broader progress", DeBusk said.