Shiite politician Ahmed Chalabi has diedProminent Iraqi Shiite politician Ahmed Chalabi has died

BAGHDAD,— Prominent Iraqi Shiite politician Ahmed Chalabi has died at age 71, state TV said Tuesday. 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 United States into invading Iraq in 2003 with information about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction programme 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. The first deputy speaker of parliament, Sheik Humam Hamoudi, lamented Chalabi’s death as a “big loss” to Iraq, calling him “an example of perseverance and dedication.” “Our national and political arena has lost a prominent figure who dedicated his life to serve the country,” he added in a statement. Shiite lawmaker Muwaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq’s former national security adviser, described Chalabi as a “great politician” who “played by the rules.” Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi born 30 October 1944) is an Iraqi politician. He was interim oil minister in Iraq in April–May 2005 and December–January 2006 and deputy prime minister from May 2005 until May 2006. Chalabi failed to win a seat in parliament in the December 2005 elections, and when the new Iraqi cabinet was announced in May 2006, he was not given a post.