Prominent Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi dead - state TV, MPs

Key US War Influencer Ahmed Chalabi Is Dead

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.

See photos of Chalabi's career:

Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi dies
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Prominent Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi dead - state TV, MPs
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - DECEMBER 06: Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and candidate for parliament Ahmed Chalabi looks from the stairs of his home December 6, 2005 in Baghdad, Iraq. Chalabi spent almost all of his political career in exile working to oust Saddam from power and is often credited for helping to convince the Bush Administration to go to war with Iraq. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Senior Iraqi politician and former deputy prime minister, Ahmed Chalabi, arrives for a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the residence of powerful Shiite leader Abdel Aziz al-Hakim in Baghdadon March 2, 2008. Ahmadinejad accused today the United States of bringing 'terrorism' to the region, and called upon Washington to change its stand against Tehran. AFP PHOTO/DAVID FURST (Photo credit should read DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images)
Former deputy prime minister Ahmed Chalabi (C) shakes hands with football players from Kadhimiyah, a Shiite neighbourhood, and Adhamiyah, a Sunni neighbourhood, during an exhibition match at the al-Shaab stadium in central Baghdad on February 17, 2008. The teams gathered for the match to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Baghdad security plan, which is largely credited with having significantly reduced violence in the capital. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
BASRA, Iraq: Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi (R) speaks with an Iraqi woman during his visit to a local hospital in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in his last electoral trip, 13 December 2005 two days before the country's general election. Chalabi, a one-time Washington favorite and expert at facing down politically deadly scandals, is positioning himself as the candidate who can quell the insurgency and distribute oil wealth to Iraqis after the December 15 election. AFP PHOTO/ESSAM AL-SUDANI (Photo credit should read ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, Iraq: Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi (C) is surrounded by candidates running on his list for this month general election as he gives a press conference at his house in Baghdad, 01 December 2005. Chalabi, the guileful Iraqi politician enmeshed in a row over Iraq war intelligence, is heading a new National Congress for Iraq list for 15 December 2005 general election, which includes his own Iraqi National Congress, along with a number of small factions, some monarchists, and the current Justice and Education ministers, both of them Shiites. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - SEPTEMBER 1: Ahmed Chalabi (R), head of the Iraqi National Congress, smiles to a colleague during the Iraqi interim parliament swear in ceremony September 1, 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq. The establishment of Iraq's interim parliament completed the setup of the caretaker administration during a ceremony rocked by mortar fire near the high-security building where the lawmakers were gathered. The assembly's 100 members will be tasked with advising the interim government in the run-up to the planned January 2005 elections. (Photo by Karim Sahib-Pool/Getty Images)
IRAQ - JULY 01: Ahmed Chalabi, Founder Of The Iraqi National Council In Baghdad, Iraq On July 01, 2004 - 07/01/2004 - Ahmed Chalabi, founder of the Iraqi National Council, in Baghdad. (Photo by Laurent VAN DER STOCKT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
TEHRAN, IRAN: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (L) shakes hands with Iraq's Governing Council member Ahmed Chalabi in Tehran 02 December 2003. Chalabi arrived in Iran on an official visit. AFP PHOTO/Atta KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Ahmed Chalabi, one of nine rotating presidents of the Iraqi Governing Council, speaks to the 58th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, 02 October, 2003, at UN headquarters in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Chalabi was widely seen as the man who helped push the United States 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. (Reporting by Baghdad newsroom; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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