Germany says it echoes U.S. in shifting Iran focus from nuclear to rights issues

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany agrees with the United States in shifting its focus away from reviving a nuclear deal with Iran to support for ordinary Iranians against a violent state crackdown on popular protests, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

"We are really moving along the same lines," the spokesperson told a regular government news conference.

"Right now, our focus is on supporting the Iranian people and putting pressure on the Iranian regime to stop suppressing the rights of its people," added the spokesperson.

Talks to revive a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers have been at a stalemate since September. Western powers accuse the Islamic Republic of raising unreasonable demands after all sides appeared to be nearing a deal.

Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, said earlier this month that President Joe Biden's administration would leave the door open to resume diplomacy "when and if" the time came, but for now Washington would continue a policy of sanctions and pressure.

Anti-government protests broke out in September over the death of young Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody after her arrest for allegedly violating the Islamic dress code.

The European Union, United States, Canada and Britain have imposed sanctions over human rights abuses in Iran as well as for its drone sales to Russia since Moscow's forces invaded neighbouring Ukraine.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke, Writing by Miranda Murray, editing by Mark Heinrich)