Thanks for the email and I hope you are well. Iran will remain a place of mixed emotions. Great people and amazing sights. I want to thank you for your service and all the extra work you did to make our trip happen. In the end do to our transit visa we could not (forbidden) go via Ashgabat and would have had to forfeit the hotel reservation.
Just so you know for future all transit visas for Turkmenistan only allow a person to cross directly from point of entry to point of exit. There is a map of the country on one of the entry documents a person receives and the officials draw a line on it and that’s where you can go. No deviations allowed and it is checked along the route at roads check points.
Turkmenistan in the end turned out great!! Very interesting place.