Veep rivals clash over Iran's nuclear program

Vice president Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) traded barbs Thursday night over the best way to handle Iran's nuclear program. 

During the first and only vice presidential debate of the election, Ryan claimed the White House's strategy to contain Tehran's nuclear ambitions has only resulted in Iran being "four years closer to a nuclear [weapons] capability."

The Obama administration's insistence on pursuing economic and political sanctions on Iran, rather than seriously entertaining the notion of military action, has only given the country more time to refine the program, Ryan said. 

In response, Biden said the hardline strategy on Iran championed by Romney campaign would put America on the path to another war in the Mideast.

The sanctions backed by the White House and U.S allies have been "the most devastating" measures imposed on Iran since the inception of its nuclear program, he said.

During the debate, Biden pressed Ryan on how exactly a Romney administration could squeeze the Iranian government any further than what has been done already.

"Unless he's talking about going to war" with Iran, the vice president shot back.

"War should always be the last resort," Biden added.

Read more on The Hill's DEFCON blog.