In this article, we introduce iterative deterministic equivalents as a novel technique for the performance analysis of communication systems whose channels are modeled by complex combinations of independent random matrices. This technique extends the deterministic equivalent approach for the study of functionals of large random matrices to a broader class of random matrix models which naturally arise as channel models in wireless communications. We present two specific applications: First, we consider a multi-hop amplify-and-forward (AF) MIMO relay channel with noise at each stage and derive deterministic approximations of the mutual information after the Kth hop. Second, we study a MIMO multiple access channel (MAC) where the channel between each transmitter and the receiver is represented by the double-scattering channel model. We provide deterministic approximations of the mutual information, the signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) and sum-rate with minimum-mean-square-error (MMSE) detection and derive the asymptotically optimal precoding matrices. In both scenarios, the approximations can be computed by simple and provably converging fixed-point algorithms and are shown to be almost surely tight in the limit when the number of antennas at each node grows infinitely large. Simulations suggest that the approximations are accurate for realistic system dimensions. The technique of iterative deterministic equivalents can be easily extended to other channel models of interest and is, therefore, also a new contribution to the field of random matrix theory.