During the Soviet period, relatives on either side could not visit each other, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and Azerbaijan's emergence as a sovereign country, many family ties have been restored. Iran allows Azerbaijani citizens visa-free visits for 15 days. Photographer Famil Mahmudbeyli visited Iranian Astara to get a sense of life in and around the city.
Life On The Iranian Side Of Astara
The mirrored cities of Astara, on Iran's border with Azerbaijan, have been divided since 1828 when the Russian and Persian empires signed a peace treaty to end a two-year war. The Astara River separates the current Iranian and Azerbajani cities.