Khamenei gives key backing to revive nuclear deal with U.S.

The key intervention sends a clear signal to Iranian hardliners not to stand in the way of talks with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office next month having pledged to rejoin the accord abandoned by Donald Trump.

“If sanctions can be removed, we shouldn’t delay, not even for an hour,” Khamenei said Wednesday in comments almost identical to ones made this week by President Hassan Rouhani. “I support the country’s officials as long as they are committed to the nation’s goals.”

The top cleric was meeting the family of General Qassem Soleimani, killed by the U.S. in January, and the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to his official website. Photographs showed Rouhani and the head of parliament, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, were also present.