Travel tips: What's the best way to get from Tashkent to Tehran?

WE ARE TWO EXPERIENCED TRAVELLERS GOING TO UZBEKISTAN AND IRAN IN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER. OUR PROBLEM IS GETTING FROM TASHKENT TO TEHRAN. FLIGHTS ARE EITHER VERY LONG, SHORT AND EXPENSIVE OR AIR ASTANA VIA ALMATY BUT WE DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE AIRLINE. P. AND S. CROWFOOT, NORMANHURST

Tashkent to Tehran is not a popular route and therefore the limited choices. I'm seeing a price of €732 flying with Air Astana for the 13½ hour, two-stop flight from Tashkent to Tehran. There seems little to worry about with Air Astana.

Skytrax  [airlinequality.com] gives it four stars and passenger reports rate the airline 8/10, which is high, and perhaps suspiciously so. 

A better option might be to fly Tashkent-Dubai with Uzbekistan Airways and Dubai-Tehran with Mahan Air. On Momondo  [momondo.com.au] I'm getting a total price of around $760 for these two flights, with a start-to-finish travel time of around eight hours. If this appeals, make sure you leave enough time between flight arrival in Dubai and departure for Tehran, you'll need to collect your bags and pass though customs and immigration, and possibly change terminals.

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