Some analysts think the rise in oil prices has the potential to cause a drag on the economy.
"An oil price increase is a hit to consumers in the form of higher gasoline prices, which means weaker spending on other items," said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. "The key question going forward will be what happens to oil production in Saudi Arabia."
Saudi Arabia has promised to help offset the loss of any Iranian crude output, saying it "remains committed to supporting the stability of oil markets, benefiting producers and consumers alike."
That's one reason some analysts think fears of sharply higher prices may be overblown.
Oil market watchers also expect that American producers will also respond to higher prices by drilling more.
And it remains to be seen just how much impact the U.S. sanctions will have in keeping Iranian crude oil off the global market.
"China is Iran's biggest customer, said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High frequency Economics in a note to clients. "China's oil importers and the government surely would be pleased to pay for oil in yuan, transacted through Chinese banks.