We present an iterative inner-outer scheme for the efficient solution of large-scale electromagnetics problems involving perfectly-conducting objects formulated with surface integral equations. Problems are solved by employing the multilevel fast multipole algorithm (MLFMA) on parallel computer systems. In order to construct a robust preconditioner, we develop an approximate MLFMA (AMLFMA) by systematically increasing the efficiency of the ordinary MLFMA. Using a flexible outer solver, iterative MLFMA solutions are accelerated via an inner iterative solver, employing AMLFMA and serving as a preconditioner to the outer solver. The resulting implementatin is tested on various electromagnetics problems involving both open and closed conductors. We show that the processing time decreases significantly using the proposed method, compared to the solutions obtained with conventional preconditioners in the literature.