Regarding the June 4 op-ed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), “The way forward on containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions”:

The idea of nuclear fuel supply guarantees for energy has merit as part of a strategy to prevent proliferation in the Middle East. But the senators’ “regional nuclear fuel bank” idea is certainly not relevant to mitigating the urgent risks posed by Iran’s nuclear program. The most effective first step is a mutual U.S. and Iranian return to compliance with the successful 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The senators incorrectly or falsely charged that President Biden wants “the mere restoration of” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Mr. Biden has long said restoring compliance with the 2015 deal is a first step toward a “longer and stronger” follow-on deal. The senators ignored that the international fuel bank that already exists has failed to dissuade Iran from building its own capacity to enrich uranium, which can be used for fuel or nuclear bombs. This is in part because Western powers abruptly cut off Iran’s access to European nuclear fuel supplies after the 1979 revolution. Even if a new regional fuel bank could disincentivize an Iranian nuclear weapon (it cannot), it would take many years to put in place.

Until Washington shows it can meet its original JCPOA obligations, no one in Iran has the political support to negotiate “new” deals. The first step toward curtailing Iran’s nuclear, missile and regional behavior is a prompt mutual return to the 2015 nuclear deal

Daryl G. Kimball, Washington

The writer is executive director of the Arms Control Association.