If you are feeling anxious about the world’s appetite for nuclear weapons, there is a bit of good news. More countries are refusing to be pressured by the US and India to approve an ill-conceived nuclear deal.

For 30 years, ever since India used its civilian nuclear programme to produce a bomb, the world has been banned from selling nuclear technology to India. Three years ago, President Bush agreed, with far too few conditions, to break that ban and sell India reactors and fuel.

The administration managed to persuade Congress to give preliminary approval to the deal. But before it can go forward, the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group must also agree. At a meeting this month, more than 20 governments delayed approval, raising serious questions. They insisted that there can be no sale to India of technology to make more nuclear fuel and that suppliers halt all trade if India tests another weapon.

When Congress gave its approval it wrote in many of the same conditions that New Zealand and others are insisting on.

That has not stopped the administration from insisting on more generosity from the suppliers group.

If it gets its way, India could end up buying technology from Russia, France and other less exacting sellers. Add that to the list of what is deeply wrong with this deal. — International Herald Tribune