Tensions rise as new Iraqi PM is nominated

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Iraq's president on Monday named a new prime minister, but incumbent Nouri al-Maliki is insisting that he should remain in power, raising fears of a possible clash. 

Iraqi President Fouad Massoum has nominated Haider al-Abadi from the government's Shiite coalition as the country's next prime minister, according to The New York Times

The United States has put pressure on Iraqi politicians to expedite the formation of a new government following parliamentary elections held at the end of April. The hope is that a more inclusive government could help ease the sectarian divisions exploited by the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

The United States quickly expressed its support for Massoum and al-Abadi.

"We congratulate Dr. Hayder al-Abadi on the nomination and urge him to form a new cabinet and national program as swiftly as possible," Brett McGurk, deputy assistant secretary of State for near eastern affairs tweeted Monday. 

"The United States stands ready to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government, particularly in its fight against #ISIS," he added.

The U.S. is beginning to arm the Kurdish forces in the north, and continuing airstrikes against ISIS targets. Airdrops of food and water to stranded displaced Iraqis are also continuing.

Al-Maliki has indicated he doesn't plan to leave power, and on Sunday he ordered Iraqi troops to surround Baghdad's government center in a show of force to Massoum and other political figures.

Al-Maliki is insisting that he remain as prime minister, since his party commanded the largest bloc after the parliamentary elections. 

The new nominee, al-Abadi, is a member of al-Maliki's party, the Shiite Islamic Dawa Party, and was the first deputy speaker of Iraq's parliament.

This story was updated at 11:21 a.m.