Her son, Omid, didn't like her mother's plan to leave. "I want to stay," he said. "My friends are here."
Wishing for an easier life
At the open microphone, several speakers didn't need prompting to broach perhaps the biggest subject on the international community's mind -- whether Iran is building nuclear weapons.
Iran says its controversial atomic program is for peaceful energy purposes. But several Western countries want Iran to fully comply with a United Nations agency's inspectors looking into whether the nuclear development is to build a bomb.
"Hi, America," said one man named Mohsen. "As far as I'm concerned, I don't think they're making bombs."
Then, he added, "With all the sanctions they put on us, it's like putting a gun on someone's head.
"You respect our civil rights and we'll respect yours. It's just humanity," he concluded.
Hassan Ahmadi has been a barber for 30 years and has three kids. He wants affordable medicine for his family.
"There's been a lot of tough times and rising costs," Ahmadi said. "One hundred percent, I want to see better relations, so we can live a little easier.
"I'm hopeful that change will happen so we can escape all the worry," he added.
Those who held contrary opinions were equally effusive.
"I don't have hope because I don't think Rouhani is everything in Iran. He still has someone over the top of him," said Ali Ahadi at a newspaper stand. That superior is the ayatollah.
A coffee shop owner agreed. "The final decider is the supreme leader. Maybe if things change, then he'll change his mind. So in the end, I'm not optimistic," proprietor Amin, who declined to give his last name. "We just want to live in peace. That's my only wish -- to live in peace."
Perhaps the most commonly shared view on Tehran streets was rejection of how Western leaders harshly characterize the country.
"I know they call us terrorists, but you show me which one of us is terrorists?" Ahadi said at the newsstand. "Iranians are (hospitable) and kind and honest."