Prominent Iraqi Politician Ahmed Chalabi Dies of Heart Attack

Ahmed Chalabi, who died on Tuesday in Baghdad, will be remembered for his role in persuading the United States to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003. REUTERS/Samir Mizban/Pool/Files

BAGHDAD, Nov 3 (Reuters) Ahmed Chalabi, the smooth-talking Iraqi politician who played a role in persuading the United States to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003, died on Tuesday of a heart attack, state television and two parliamentarians said.

Haitham Al Jabouri, secretary of parliament’s financial panel, which Chalabi had chaired, said attendants had found him dead in his bed in his Baghdad home.

Chalabi was widely seen as the man who helped push the U.S. into invading Iraq in 2003 with information about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program that was eventually discredited.

After Saddam’s fall, Chalabi returned from exile in Britain and the United States. At one point his name was floated as a candidate for prime minister but he never managed to rise to the top of Iraq’s stormy, sectarian-driven politics.

His eventual fallout with his former American allies also hurt his chances of becoming an Iraqi leader.

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