Israel's military chief says his country has "some time" to determine whether international penalties against Iran will be enough to persuade Tehran not to build a nuclear bomb.

That comment from Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi (GAH'-bee ahsh-kehn-AH'-zee) compares with harsher language from Israeli leaders earlier this month when they urged the U.S. to issue a "credible military threat" against Iran.

Ashkenazi, who heads the Israel Defense Forces, said at the Pentagon on Wednesday that the latest round of U.S. and U.N. penalties against Iran are working for now.

He said the real question is whether the penalties will be enough over the long term.

Ashkenazi said there's still "some time" to see what "the final outcome" will be.