Iranians optimistic about possible thaw in relations with US

In this Sept. 10, 2013 photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks during an interview with state television at the presidency in Tehran, Iran. In an interview with NBC News in Tehran, Rouhani says his people should be free to think, speak and seek information on the Internet, subject to "the protection of our national identity." (AP Photo/Presidency Office, Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam)

September 23, 2013 7:04:13 PM PDT
Many ordinary Iranians say they're optimistic about a possible thaw in relations between Iran and the United States.

Iranians say they're hoping it means a new era for their country and an end to crippling economic sanctions.

Iran's new president has pushed for better relations with Washington and tweeted happy new year to the world's Jewish population.

"I want to see Mr. Rouhani and Mr. Obama sit in front of each other and speak about life," store owner Ali Hayati said.

"They realize that they need each other, they like each other, and they feel this is the right time to get together and start talking at least," retailer Sadegh Kiyaei said.

Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Iran's foreign minister at this week's U.N. General Assembly meeting. It will be the highest level meeting between the US and Iran since the 1979 Iranian revolution.