After a dozen failed remedies, I tried to use Find my iPhone to erase my iPhone (and restore from backup), but nothing happened after an hour. It also says device offline (it's not).
Had tried to reset from the menu but got: "Verification Failed. There was an error connecting to icloud." So I went to restore from backup and got another message, "Find my iPhone must be turned off before iPhone can be restored," (which requires iCloud access.)
Can Apple simply delete my iCloud account?