Iranian state television broadcast images of a captured U.S. stealth drone on Thursday.
The footage shows two men examining the top secret spy drone. Iranian officials claim its military shot down the aircraft on Sunday.
However, American intelligence officials say the aircraft was likely lost due to a malfunction.
U.S. officials have identified the missing drone as an RQ-170 Sentinel, the same type of drone used to gather intelligence for the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The loss of the drone is a major blow to U.S. intelligence, which has been stepping up efforts to monitor suspected nuclear sites in Iran.
"Bottom line: There was a highly sophisticated American system that in a certain way, we can't describe as American anymore because it's in Iranian and soon Russian or Chinese hands," said Peter Singer, a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.
Reports indicate that Chinese and Russian officials are also seeking access to the drone.