Europe News

Apple CEO Tim Cook says giant Irish tax bill is politically motivated and ‘anti-US’

Apple CEO claims EU tax ruling was 'political'

Europe's 13 billion-euro ($14.5 billion) tax demand is "total political crap" that's "completely unfair," Apple's CEO Tim Cook has told the Irish Independent.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish newspaper, Cook blasted the order by the European Commission on Tuesday that Ireland claw back the huge sum, plus interest, in back-taxes from Apple.

Cook said that the European Commission's move was a backdoor attempt to harmonize tax rates across the European Union, and that Apple had likely been targeted because of anti-U.S. sentiment at the commission.

"What I feel strongly about is that this decision was politically based, of that I'm very confident. There is no reason for it in fact or in law," he said.

To read the full Irish Independent report, click here.

The European Commission accused Ireland of giving Apple an unfair advantage over other companies by allowing it to pay a tax rate of between 0.005 percent and 1 percent, in breach of the European Union's state aid rules. Apple has been operating in Ireland since the 1980s.

Ireland, which fears losing its competitiveness in attracting global businesses to its shores, has said it will appeal the ruling, as has Apple.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.