iptables is not a service, but a facility inside the kernel. That is why you can't stop it.
If you ever need to stop iptables quickly, here's my suggestion:
Configure your iptables to completion.
Save the configuration first:
iptables-save > /etc/iptables.conf
Flush the iptables, and configure it 'open':
- All policies set to ACCEPT
- Configure all necessary NATs for your sysadmin to work
- If you use Policy-Based Routing in the mangle table, also configure it as necessary
Save the 'open' ruleset:
iptables-save > /etc/open-iptables.conf
Now, whenever you need to quickly 'disable' iptables, do:
cat /etc/open-iptables.conf | iptables-restore.
After that, 're-enable' iptables using:
cat /etc/iptables.conf | iptables-restore
iptables-restore < /etc/open-iptables.conf might also work; but I've read somewhere else that sometimes it doesn't work )