Germany says it wants to increase pressure on Iran after latest executions

German Chancellor Scholz receives carol singers at the German Chancellery in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday condemned Iran for using the death penalty against demonstrators, and his spokesperson said Berlin wanted to crank up pressure on the Iranian authorities with new international measures.

Iran hanged two men on Saturday for allegedly killing a member of the security forces during nationwide protests that followed the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16, drawing condemnation from the European Union, the United States and other Western nations.

"With the executions, the Iranian regime is employing the death penalty as a means of repression," Scholz wrote on Twitter. "That is horrifying."

He said Iran should refrain from further executions after the killings of 22-year-old Mohammad Mehdi Karami and 39-year-old Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini, whose deaths bring the number of executions linked to the protests to four.

"Together with our international partners, we will increase the pressure further on the Iranian regime," the government spokesperson told a regular news conference, adding that Iran needed to see that there would be a price to pay for continuing.

A German foreign ministry spokesperson said the goal was to agree a fourth package of sanctions with other European Union member states in response to the crackdown.

(Reporting by Rachel More, Matthias Williams and Thomas Escritt; Editing by Miranda Murray, William Maclean)