WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- The so-called Green Movement in Iran is a manifestation of a student revolution and not the work of Reformist officials challenging the regime, analysts say.
Student protesters clashed with riot police in the streets of Tehran on Wednesday as the country marked the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
Former officials Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mohammad Khatami and Mehdi Karroubi are lauded as the leaders of the so-called Green Movement in Iran. Mehdi Khalaji, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy writing in Foreign Policy, notes the Wednesday demonstrations were the work of bloggers and human-rights activists, not Reformist leaders.
Khalaji writes that Mousavi and his colleagues remain loyal to the principles envisioned by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic.
Protesters, however, point to the lingering problems in a system that gives the supreme leader the ultimate authority over Islamic and national law, the scholar notes.
More than 70 percent of the Iranian population is under the age of 30, meaning the revolution on the streets of Tehran is a youth movement, not a Reformist one, he writes.
"The true leaders of this movement are students, women, human rights activists, and political activists who have little desire to work in a theocratic regime or in a government within the framework of the existing Constitution," he concludes.